Orange County Sheriff John Mina fights deposition in Salaythis Melvin lawsuit

Melvin shot, killed outside The Florida Mall in 2020

Sheriff John Mina considering policy changes after Salaythis Melvin shooting

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A federal court hearing has been scheduled to determine if Orange County Sheriff John Mina should be deposed as part of a federal lawsuit filed by the family of Salaythis Melvin.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office agent James Montiel opened fire on Melvin on Aug. 7, 2020, outside The Florida Mall as he ran away across the parking lot. Melvin was shot in the back and later died, according to body camera video and incident reports.

The sheriff said the incident began when deputies tried to approach a group of four individuals outside Dick’s Sporting Goods because one of the men had an active warrant for his arrest and was also a person of interest in a triple shooting that occurred in Pine Hills in July 2020.

That warrant was not for Melvin, and deputies did not know who he was, even asking his name after he was shot, body camera video shows.

Melvin’s family sued the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

According to documents filed in federal court on Tuesday, Mina is fighting deposition in the case.

His attorneys filed a motion asking the court for a protective order, which would shield him from being questioned by attorneys in the case.

“Sheriff Mina’s was not present for the shooting,” the motion reads. “Everything he learned about the shooting was derived from speaking to officials within the OCSO chain of command. He abstained from discussing the facts and circumstances of the shooting with the involved deputies.”

The motion also addresses Melvin’s possession of a stolen handgun.

“Sheriff Mina’s second-hand knowledge as to Mr. Melvin’s possession of a stolen handgun is immaterial. Sheriff Mina did not independently investigate the handgun and was informed through the chain of command that Mr. Melvin was in possession of a handgun that was reported stolen prior to the shooting,” the motion reads.

Mina was scheduled to be deposed by Melvin’s attorneys on Oct. 12.

The judge has delayed that questioning until he can rule on Mina’s motion.

He has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 17.

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About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.