Man gets life in prison for attacking Orlando police officers on Facebook Live

A man was sentenced to life in prison this week for attacking two Orlando police officers while on Facebook Live back in September 2021, according to officials. 

William McClish faced several charges, including resisting an officer with violence, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a weapon, depriving an officer of means of protection, and attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a weapon. 

"The officers who were brutally attacked are lucky to be alive and were able to return to work. We are grateful to the State Attorney’s office and the jury for the outcome that was reached. Now a violent offender will remain behind bars for the rest of his life," Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith said in a statement. 


McClish was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday, according to the State Attorney's Office. He represented himself at trial. 

"I didn’t do it and the evidence was tampered with," he said in his opening statement. That was all he said. 

The jury returned the verdict within an hour. The judge sentenced him to life in prison. 

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"Our team did a great job presenting the case to the jury over the last day or so, and they were able to secure a verdict," State Attorney Andrew Bain told FOX 35 on Wednesday. "And we don't have to worry about him doing that anymore in our community."

William McClish was sentenced to life on April 2, 2024, after a jury found him guilty of attacking two Orlando police officers in September 2021. (Photo: Orlando Police Department)

What happened?

Just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 25, 2021, two Orlando police officers on downtown patrol were standing on the corner of Washington and Magnolia when McClish suddenly attacked one of them without warning. He was armed with a brick, which he used to strike one of the officers in the head. 

McClish then bit and gouged the second officer's eye as he tried to subdue him, the State Attorney's Office said. McClish had positioned his phone against a trash can and streamed the entire attack on Facebook Live. 

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Throughout the attack, the officers told McClish several times to comply and stop resisting, which McClish did not do. Instead, he tried to take the gun from one of the officers and ripped the radio off the second officer's uniform in an attempt to stop him from calling for help. 

Both officers were injured in the attack. Other officers arrived minutes later and took McClish into custody. 

While in jail, McClish bragged about his attempt to try and take the officer's gun during the attack, the State Attorney's Office said. 

Authorities later discovered a previously recorded video on his phone where he said, "I'm gonna kill him on live," the State Attorney's Office continued. This established premeditation and his intention to kill.