March on Washington commemoration held in Orlando

Rally addressed recent shooting death of 22-year-old Salaythis Melvin at Florida Mall

ORLANDO, Fla. – About 100 people gathered in downtown Orlando on Friday night to mark the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was held and was the same day Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

Friday’s rally started on the steps of city hall, where the crowd listened to King’s speech, and speakers urged everyone to rally for change.

More than 100 people rallied for reform at a March on Washington commemoration rally in downtown Orlando. (WKMG)

“We have to care. We have to be out here. Nothing is going to happen if bodies are not here,” said Lenishka Clepper.

Clepper said the march’s anniversary took on a different meaning for her this year in the wake of the shooting of 22-year-old Salaythis Melvin.

Melvin was shot Aug. 7 at the Florida Mall while running away, body camera video shows. He died the next day of a single gun shot wound to the back.

The Orange County sheriff’s deputy who shot him said he believed Melvin was reaching for a gun in his waistband.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

Melvin’s cousins attended Friday’s event, but they were too distraught to talk.

“What’s his name? Salaythis Melvin. What’s his name? Salaythis Melvin,” the demonstrators chanted as the marched from city hall, across Interstate 4 and back via Church Street.

Orlando police closed down Orange Ave. so the protesters could march back to city hall.

Melvin’s family attorney told News 6 he will be working through the weekend to obtain surveillance video from the Florida Mall, which he hopes will show whether Melvin had a gun drawn or not.

Melvin will be laid to rest on Saturday.

7:07 p.m.

Marchers end their walk through downtown Orlando demanding change.

6:45 p.m.

Marchers are crossing Interstate 4 near downtown Orlando chanting Salaythis Melvin’s name.

6:35 p.m.

Demonstrators have shut down Washington Street as they shout the name of a Black 22-year-old who was shot and killed Aug. 7 by an Orange County deputy.

5:42 p.m.

The crowd is listening to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at Orlando City Hall.

5:33 p.m.

Orlando Police officers gather ahead of the start of a march from City Hall to Orlando Police headquarters.

5:12 p.m.

The March on Washington rally in Orlando started at 5:12 p.m.


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