A Pennsylvania man facing a felony charge of battery on a police officer says he was the one battered for no good reason.
And his lawyer says Fort Lauderdale police can soon expect a lawsuit over the matter.
But the department Thursday released body cam video that refutes some of what the man claims and casts doubt on other assertions.
Francisco Moore, of Bethlehem, PA, was celebrating his 37th birthday in February with his fiancé and friends when things turned ugly at The Wharf nightclub.
After leaving, Moore said, a Fort Lauderdale officer "started getting aggressive. That’s when I knew, I definitely knew, it was getting out of hand."
In his police report, det. Alexander Paul says Moore called him the N-word.
Moore denied that in an interview with NBC 6.
But the video clearly shows him using the racial epithet against Paul, who is Black.
Moore's lawyer, Gustavo Frances, claims other parts of the report do not match up to body cam video he released to the media.
"He manufactured probable cause in reverse in order to justify the beating," Frances said, adding he may file a civil rights lawsuit against the department on Moore's behalf.
For example, he noted, Det. Alexander Paul described how “Francisco lunged forward towards (his fiancé’s) direction which prompted me to push him away.”
But just before Paul pushes Moore aside, the video does not appear to show Moore lunging at the woman, who was also arrested. Rather, Moore said, he was just holding her hand and, if anything, pulling her back toward him.
And as for that push, Moore said, it felt more like a hard punch to him, stunning him as he fell backward.
"Next thing, I know I’m on the floor getting hit in the face, kicked in the back," Moore said.
Before he was subdued and punched repeatedly by Paul, police say and the video shows, Moore reenters the fray, drawing back his left arm and striking out at Paul at about the same time the officer says Moore punched him.
That appears most vividly in a video file Moore's attorney said he did not receive as part of the criminal case against Moore -- but which was released Thursday publicly by the police.
Moore denied striking Paul, describing that as "a lose-lose situation."
Fort Lauderdale police records show Paul has used force dozens of times in his six years on the force, but never improperly, his department says.
The department said it is investigating the incident -- as it does all uses of force -- but that Paul is not under investigation and remains on full active duty.