A Hollywood police officer was charged Friday in a July 2021 shooting that left a unadorned man paralyzed.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Broward County State Attorney’s Office investigation discovered that Officer Henry Andrews was criminally liable for shooting Michael Ortiz in the again throughout an incident in which Ortiz referred to as 911 to complain about chest ache and that he’d taken medicine.
Andrews’ lawyer Jeremy Kroll stated in an announcement to the Miami Herald Friday that the shooting was an accident, and that his shopper meant to make use of his Taser stun gun, not his pistol, whereas battling an agitated and bare Ortiz.
“Henry Andrews has been a dedicated public servant for 20 years. In responding to a difficult and chaotic situation, Officer Andrews intended to deploy his Taser and mistakenly discharged his firearm. He and his family have Mr. Ortiz in their thoughts and prayers,” Kroll stated.
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office charged Andrews with one depend of culpable negligence, inflicting precise private damage, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by as much as a 12 months in jail. Andrews was charged by prosecutors, not a grand jury.
He was not arrested. Rather, a summons was delivered to Kroll for his shopper to seem earlier than a decide to listen to the charge on Oct. 1.
Hollywood Police Department spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi stated Andrews continues to be employed on the pressure and has been assigned to “administrative duties.” Andrews’ wage and size if service in the division weren’t instantly accessible Friday, Bettineschi stated.
The shooting occurred on July 3, 2021. Ortiz referred to as 911, telling operators he had chest ache and was taking narcotics.
When police arrived at his residence at 5200 Hollywood Blvd., Ortiz got here outdoors bare and was “combative with paramedics and visibly agitated,” officers stated in a February information launch.
Ortiz advised officers he was going to leap from his sixth-floor balcony, based on the assertion. An officer was in a position to restrain Ortiz after shooting him together with his stun gun, police stated. But, as cops introduced him down the residence constructing’s stairs, he fought with them.
One of the officers, Andrews, shot Ortiz in the wrestle, hitting him as soon as, police stated.Ortiz’s lawyer, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, launched an announcement in February saying that Ortiz posed no menace to officers when he was shot.
“He was handcuffed, naked, on the ground, and posed no threat to the officer when he was shot in the back, resulting in his paralysis,” attorneys stated in the assertion. “Michael Ortiz needed Help from the Hollywood Police Department, but what they provided instead was a bullet in the back.”
Crump’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Friday about Andrews being charged.