Man who attacked Orlando police officers on Facebook Live gets life in prison

A 29-year-old man who attacked two Orlando police officers while streaming the incident on Facebook Live will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

On Wednesday, an Orange County jury found William McClish guilty of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and other offenses in connection with a surprise attack that he carried out on two Orlando Police Department officers in 2021.

Court records show that on September 25, 2021, the two uniformed OPD officers stood outside their patrol vehicle near the intersection of N Magnolia Avenue and E Washington Street in downtown Orlando.

Shortly before the attack, McClish leaned his cellphone against a trash can, positioning it so that the two officers were in view of the camera. McClish then began livestreaming on Facebook as he armed himself with a brick.

When McClish returned in view of the camera, he was captured on video striking one of the officers in the head with the brick. A struggle ensued as the second officer and a witness attempted to subdue McClish while he actively fought back and resisted.

Both officers sustained injuries. In addition to battering the first officer with the brick, McClish bit and gouged the second officer’s eye during the attack.

The two officers gave McClish several commands to comply and stop resisting. He refused and attempted to grab the first officer’s firearm. In addition, he grabbed the second officer’s radio to prevent the officers from requesting backup.

After a few minutes, additional officers arrived at the incident location and placed McClish under arrest.

While in jail, McClish boasted about how he attempted to take the officer’s firearm during the attack. After further investigation, law enforcement learned that McClish had stated in a previously recorded video on his phone that he was “gonna kill (the officer) on live,” which showed premeditation and an intention to kill.

The case went to trial, and McClish chose to represent himself. During his brief opening remarks, he stated, “I didn’t do it and the evidence was tampered with.”

It took jurors less than an hour to reach a verdict. McClish was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with great bodily harm, depriving an officer of means of protection/communication, and attempting to deprive an officer of means of protection/communication.

McClish was then sentenced by the judge to life in prison.

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