A Florida man who was shot in the back with a gun after a police officer mistook his pistol for a taser filed on Monday, Feb. 7, a lawsuit against the police department in the hopes of publicizing photos of the shooting.

Forty-two-year-old Michael Ortiz was reportedly acting erratically the day that he was shot. Police said that he was reported to have been on drugs during this time and had threatened to jump off the balcony of his apartment when the officer shot him in the back, CBS Miami reported.

However, Ortiz’s lawyer Ben Crump, a noted civil rights attorney, claims that Ortiz was grieving about his dog and that he was experiencing a mental health crisis when police officers barged in and used force in an effort to subdue him, according to the Daily Beast.

Now, Ortiz and his lawyers are asking for the video of his shooting to be released, claiming that the video will have evidence pointing to why Ortiz was shot in the back in such a gruesome manner.

“You must release the video that shows us why you shot a naked man, face down and paralyzed him,” Crump said.

The police department in Hollywood, Florida said that they were still investigating the case and that the officer who shot Ortiz had intended to use his taser instead of his gun in the incident. They also say that the said officer has been put on administrative duties while the investigation is ongoing.

“We empathize with Ortiz and his family and know they have many questions about that evening. Our hope is that once the investigation is complete, we will be able to meet with them and provide any additional information they are seeking,” Hollywood Police Department said in a statement.

Ortiz was hospitalized after being shot, and his body is currently paralyzed. He uses a wheelchair these days and reportedly needs round-the-clock care for himself in order to survive. Because of this, Ortiz’s lawyers reject the police’s statement and asked for more transparency for the investigation.

“Michael Ortiz needed help from the Hollywood Police Department, but what they provided instead was a bullet in the back. Their actions, lack of transparency, and ridiculous excuses are shameful,” his lawyers said.

Michael Ortiz, who was shot by a police officer in the back after he mistook his gun for a taser, is now suing the police department of Hollywood, Florida to release video of the incident. This is a representational image. Michael Muthee/Unsplash.

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