For more than a month, protesters in Orlando have been chanting the name, "Salaythis Melvin."
The 22-year-old was shot on August 7 by an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy outside the Florida Mall and later died.
What You Need To Know
- Melvin was shot in the back.
- Deputies say he was armed and posed a threat.
- Protesters say he shouldn’t have been killed.
“Honestly, we have to get more awareness, this isn’t enough of a house hold item or house hold topic and it hasn’t been discussed enough," community activist Miles Mulrain Jr. said.
Corrine Daly said, “We have to come together as a community for justice for this family and justice for this life, but we also come together to say enough’s enough.”
We want the public to know that this isn’t a moment. It’s totally a movement," Celonica Milton said.
They’ve all been at the forefront of protest calling for police reform.
Mulrain, who works closely with the local Black Lives Matter group, met with Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Florida lawmakers last week. Still, he says more needs to be done, not just locally, but nationally, when it comes to police reform.
Not everyone in the Black community, however, thinks protests are the answer. During the Republic National Convention, former NFL safety Jack Brewer voiced support for President Trump, calling out the Black Lives Matter movement for part of its mission to, "disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family".
"My fellow Americans, our families need each other. We need Black fathers in the homes with their wives and children. The future of our communities depends on it," Brewer said.
Mulrain disagrees and says the community steps in to help families when the “nuclear family” needs support.
“We have a system where in the Black family, in the Black community where over-policing takes place and over-charging happens and over-sentencing happens, you are going to have more families separated than other communities. So, when that takes place, we can’t just rely on mom and dad. We have to step in as a community and as a village to bring that extra support," Mulrain said.
Support – and pressure – protesters say they will continue to give, until they feel there is justice for Salaythis Melvin.
“We won’t be silenced. We will continue to go on until we are heard,"Celonica Milton said.
There were several protests that happened at the Florida Mall over the weekend, and more protests are planned in the coming days.
At last check the deputy involved in this shooting is still on paid administrative leave.