Orlando, FL – Gov. Rick Scott has assigned another attorney to handle the use of force investigation involving Orlando police officers and Markeith Loyd, resolving a dispute between prosecutors about who would handle the case.
Loyd, 41, was wanted for the first-degree murders of his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando Police Lieutenant Debra Clayton when he was captured on Jan. 17, 2017.
Police said Loyd had been resisting arrest, but that there would be an investigation into the circumstances.
The case has been an administrative nightmare for the state of Florida since its beginning.
At first, Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala said she would not seek the death penalty against anyone during her term. Her decision was met with outrage by many in the community.
In April, Gov. Scott signed a series of executive orders that took the Loyd case, and numerous other murder cases that were eligible for the death penalty, away from Ayala and reassigned them to Special Prosecutor Brad King, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Shortly after that, King announced he would seek the death penalty against Loyd.
But King told Ayala he didn’t have jurisdiction to conduct the use of force investigation, according to emails obtained by WKMG.
Ayala fired back that the governor directed him to handle “all matters” involving Loyd.
Gov. Scott resolved the dispute by assigning State Attorney Phil Archer to oversee the use of force investigation on Dec. 19.
Police said Loyd fatally shot Dixon in December of 2016, and then shot Lt. Clayton four times when she attempted to apprehend him on Jan. 9, 2017 in a Walmart parking lot. The police lieutenant died.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina backed his officers up as soon as the allegations of police brutality were made, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"I think the officers showed incredible restraint," Chief Mina said. "... I wouldn't believe anything Markeith Loyd says."
"We are talking about a cold-blooded, ruthless killer who then took off and committed more crimes, attempted to kill a sheriff's deputy and also carjacked somebody," the chief told the Orlando Sentinel.
On the day of Loyd’s arrest, he met the law enforcement officers while wearing body armor and holding two guns.
At some point, he put down the guns, and video from a police helicopter showed Loyd crawling on his stomach toward officers. The video also showed the suspect being kicked in the head by at least two police officers.
Loyd lost vision in one eye during the arrest, WKMG reported.
"They done took my eye, they broke my jaw, broke my nose," Loyd told a judge at his court appearance. Loyd asked the state for an investigation into the use of force during his arrest.
Orlando police told WKMG that the investigation has not been completed.
You can see the video of Markeith Loyd's arrest below: