Racist deputies who shot the fleeing man at Florida Mall broke many agency rules
The Orange County deputies who shot a fleeing man in his back killing him can be fired because they violated several agency policies involving racist and abusive language and use-of-force tactics that needlessly endangered the public.
The sheriff’s office said it’s still investigating the incident, but recently released body cam video shows the deputies were racist, cruel and reckless. Click here to see that unedited video.
During the incident Aug. 7 at Florida Mall, which resulted in the death of Salaythis Melvin, 22, a recently released body cam video revealed that one of the deputies referred to the black victim as a “bold nigger.”
Based on what can be seen on the video all the deputies were white. No one warned the cop who made the racist comment.
Immediately after Mr. Melvin was shot by plainclothes deputies in the shopping mall parking lot, one of the deputies is seen on camera shouting: “Keep your fucking hands out!”
“Get your hand out! You’re going to get fucking shot!” Mr. Melvin was on the ground writhing in pain from a gunshot wound in the back.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office general order for bias-free policing states: “It is the policy of the agency that people having contact with agency personnel shall be treated on a fair, impartial, bias-free, and objective manner in accordance with law and the guidelines set out in this general order. Law enforcement action that is biased is illegal and violates the equal protection clause and the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. It also alienates the public, fosters distrust, and undermines legitimate law enforcement.”
Rule 8 in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office General Order for standards of conduct states: “Personnel shall be courteous and respectful to their superiors, fellow personnel and members of the public.”
Rule 15 under standards of performance states: “In the performance of their duties, all personnel shall maintain command of temper, patience and discretion. Employees shall refrain from using improper, obscene, profane on insolent language.”
There are also major questions about the justification for the shooting, which resulted in Mr. Melvin’s death. The deputies converged on the parking lot to arrest a man Mr. Melvin was with – not Mr. Melvin. Yet at least one deputy fired and hit Mr. Melvin in the back.
The sheriff’s office use of force policy states: “Members of the agency are not authorized to: use a firearm to arrest or prevent the flight of a person who has committed a misdemeanor or traffic violation.”
At the time of the shooting Mr. Melvin was not wanted for anything. He apparently ran because he was scared.
Even after deputies shot him Mr. Melvin they didn’t know who he was. One deputy was heard on the video asking: “What’s your name dude?” At this point Mr. Melvin’s eyes were open, but he was unresponsive, near death.
If deputies didn’t know who Mr. Melvin was, why did they open fire in the parking lot while there were members of the public walking to and from their cars?
Rule 4 in the sheriff’s office use of force policy states: “When determining what level of force to use, deputies shall consider the risk to the public, including but not limited to, whether the deputy’s use of force creates a substantial risk to the safety of the public, exceeding the danger to deputies or the public by allowing the suspect to remain at large.”
Note: Mr. Melvin was not a suspect. The man deputies were seeking to arrest had already been taken into custody.
It is noteworthy that Rule 3 in the sheriff’s office standards of conduct states: “Violation of policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action to include, but not be limited to verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension from duty without pay, disciplinary probation, demotion or termination.”