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Family of an armed black man, 22, who was shot in the back by plainclothes police to file a lawsuit

Florida police released body cameras of the fatal arrest of a black man who was shot and killed by a plainclothes deputy earlier this month after claiming the 22-year-old pulled a gun as he walked away.

However, the attorneys representing the family of the murdered man, Salaythis Melvin, say that newly released footage of the incident contradicts the officer’s story and are now planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit because their son was ‘no threat’.

They also claim that an officer named Melvin the ‘n-word’ gave him first aid while he was lying on the floor fighting for his life.

Melvin was shot and killed outside the Florida Mall on August 7 by Orange County Sheriff’s Office Agent James Montiel.

Montiel was not wearing a police uniform or a body camera at the time of the shooting. However, the fatal incident was remotely captured on the bodycam of a responding officer, now released by the sheriff’s department.

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Melvin was shot and killed outside the Florida Mall on August 7 by Orange County Sheriff's Office Agent James Montiel.

Seen Melvin in handcuffs after being shot in the back

Seen Melvin in handcuffs after being shot in the back

Salaythis Melvin (seen left) was shot and killed outside the Florida Mall on August 7 by Orange County Sheriff’s Office Agent James Montiel.

Montiel was not wearing a police uniform or a body camera at the time of the shooting. However, the fatal incident was remotely captured on the bodycam of a responding officer, now released by the sheriff's department.

Montiel was not wearing a police uniform or a body camera at the time of the shooting. However, the fatal incident was remotely captured on the bodycam of a responding officer, now released by the sheriff's department.

Montiel was not wearing a police uniform or a body camera at the time of the shooting. However, the fatal incident was remotely captured on the bodycam of a responding officer, now released by the sheriff’s department.

The family claims an officer used a racial nickname on Melvin when administering first aid to him while on the ground fighting for his life

The family claims an officer used a racial nickname on Melvin when administering first aid to him while on the ground fighting for his life

The family claims an officer used a racial nickname on Melvin when administering first aid to him while on the ground fighting for his life

Moments earlier, Melvin had reportedly been part of a group of four who had been stopped by police outside the mall. One of the four suspects, who was not Melvin, had a warrant for his arrest and was wanted in connection with a shooting.

But as the police approached Melvin, he suddenly took off on foot and was chased by Montiel, a police affidavit alleges.

During the chase on foot, the deputy sheriff said he saw Melvin had a gun in his waistband, the affidavit said.

Montiel would have told Melvin to drop his weapon, but Melvin kept running.

The officer then claims that Melvin turned his head back to him while he was running and started looking at him, this time with the gun in his hand.

Montiel claims he felt threatened, which prompted him to open fire on Melvin. The 22-year-old was hit in the back and later died in hospital.

The Orange County Sheriff’s six videos Tuesday of the fatal shooting. In one clip, a deputy sheriff is seen driving toward Melvin, running across the parking lot in the distance before falling to the ground halfway through.

The footage from the officer’s body camera was too far away to determine definitively whether Melvin had a gun in his hand at the time he was shot. A stolen Glock pistol was recovered from the scene, although deputies were unaware that the gun had been stolen until after the shooting.

Montiel, meanwhile, is seen running to a floored Melvin about four seconds later. Other deputies then arrive on the scene, get out of their patrol vehicles, and surround Melvin with guns drawn.

In one clip, a deputy sheriff is seen driving up to Melvin, who runs across the parking lot in the distance before falling to the ground halfway up the pass.

In one clip, a deputy sheriff is seen driving up to Melvin, who runs across the parking lot in the distance before falling to the ground halfway up the pass.

In one clip, a deputy sheriff is seen driving up to Melvin, who runs across the parking lot in the distance before falling to the ground halfway up the pass.

Orange County Sheriff's Office Agent James Montiel, who fired the fatal shot, is shown circled above

Orange County Sheriff's Office Agent James Montiel, who fired the fatal shot, is shown circled above

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Agent James Montiel, who fired the fatal shot, is shown circled above

Other deputies then arrive on the scene, get out of their patrol vehicles, and surround Melvin with guns drawn

Other deputies then arrive on the scene, get out of their patrol vehicles, and surround Melvin with guns drawn

Other deputies then arrive on the scene, get out of their patrol vehicles, and surround Melvin with guns drawn

Melvin hears groans and squirm on the floor in pain. Delegates can be heard repeatedly shouting ‘Get you f *** ing hands up’ and ‘Stop f *** ing moving’.

“Hold out your hands or you will be shot f *** ing,” shouts one officer, before realizing that Melvin is in fact in a medical emergency.

As the officers approach Melvin, still with weapons drawn, he hears howling on the floor as an officer enters to handcuff him. As soon as he’s handcuffed, officers start providing first aid.

During this time, about five minutes after the video started, one of the delegates would hear Melvin mention the ‘n-word’, although the audio of the footage is inconclusive.

Carlus Haynes, one of the attorneys representing Melvin’s family, said, “The more we listened to it, the more it sounds like he was called the n-word.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said it was “aware of allegations … that a deputy made inappropriate comments on the video.”

The OCSO has reportedly launched an internal investigation into the matter and will make the results of that investigation public upon completion, the department said.

Bradley Laurent, a second attorney representing the family, said the footage shows that Melvin posed no threat to agents.

Laurent, who publicly lobbied for the release of the video for several days, said there is no indication in the footage that Melvin had his hand on the gun or was aiming at agents.

‘If you watch the video, he was in a full sprint. He posed no threat to anyone, ‘he said at a press conference.

“That man is running too fast to look after anyone,” Haynes added. “He was a full sprint away from this officer.”

As the officers approach Melvin, still with weapons drawn, he hears howling on the floor as an officer enters to handcuff him.

As the officers approach Melvin, still with weapons drawn, he hears howling on the floor as an officer enters to handcuff him.

As the officers approach Melvin, still with weapons drawn, he hears howling on the floor as an officer enters to handcuff him.

Once handcuffed, officers begin providing first aid while waiting for paramedics to arrive

The lawyers also wondered why deputies approached Melvin and his three associates in multiple unmarked cars to issue an arrest warrant, and why Montiel shot Melvin while he was running when nearby deputies in cars could have easily caught up with him.

“You have all these vehicles, why do you have to shoot?” Haynes said, adding that he believed that delegates created “the dangerous situation” that ultimately led to Melvin’s death.

The lawyers say they plan to sue Montiel and the sheriff’s office on behalf of Melvin’s family.

The lawyers also shared a statement from Melvin’s mother and stepfather, Michelin McKee and Ryan Findley, who called his death by the deputy a “senseless murder of our son.”

“We know he was not a saint at the time of his death, but he was a loving member of our family and as a result of the actions of several Orange County Sheriff’s deputies, his life was far too short,” his parents said. We will never know if he would have made changes for the better.

“Promise us, and the citizens of Orange County, that no one – whether black or white, young or old, Baptist or Catholic – will be shot like our son was.”

Melvin seen in a photo on social media above

Melvin seen in a photo on social media above

The lawyers also shared a statement from Melvin’s mother and stepfather, Michelin McKee and Ryan Findley, who called his death by the deputy a “senseless murder of our son.”

According to data from the Florida Department of Corrections, a 2016 record shows that Melvin was sentenced to three years in prison on battery charge for law enforcement, resisting arrest, theft and drug charges. He was released last November.

The lawyers representing his family have asked Sheriff John Mina to immediately introduce a policy prohibiting deputies from firing at fleeing persons.

“It’s not… deer season. We don’t shoot people in the back, period, ”Haynes said.

Haynes and Laurent are also asking Mina to require deputies to make statements about a shooting before viewing video footage and to place deputies on leave without pay after a shooting.

Montiel is currently on paid leave while FDLE is investigating the shooting. The lawyers have asked that he be suspended or fired without payment until the investigation is completed.

The shooting is now under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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