California man who lost a five-year legal battle with San Diego police found dead from apparent suicide.

Police found Will X Walters dead at his Hillcrest apartment on Wednesday but it’s unclear how long he’d lain there, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Walters was arrested in 2011 during a gay pride event in San Diego for wearing a leather loincloth that didn’t fully cover his buttocks.

The 35-year-old made headlines after his arrest when police asked him to cover up, which Walters refused to do. Officers took him to jail after he declined to sign a citation for the misdemeanor.

He sued the police for anti-gay discrimination but a federal jury had recently ruled against him on Dec 13.

His attorney Chris Morris said that Walters was completely shocked by the verdict and that his client had accumulated more than $1 million in legal costs.

“Will Walters was a valiant warrior for his cause, and he will be missed by those who knew him and the community he fought for,” said Morris.

He created Free Will USA, an advocacy organisation to help others know and defend their rights.

“The reason I continue this fight is so that we all can continue giving our opinions and we can enjoy the luxury of equal enforcement as well as freedom of speech,” Walters had said previously. “Regardless win or lose, it’s been a really long journey and myself, my friends and my legal team have fought as hard as we could, but it’s all to support my fellow Americans and again I want to thank everyone.”

The case is under investigation by the medical examiner.

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