Man Wears Sign Supporting Suspected Cop Killer Outside Florida Sheriff's Office: 'God Bless the Shooter'
The man, identified as Ian McGuire, 26, was seen outside the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, located about three hours southwest of Orlando.
As Orlando police remain embroiled in a manhunt for a suspect wanted for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an officer in Orlando, a man took to the streets to show support for that alleged cop killer, donning a sign celebrating the death of police outside a Florida sheriff’s office.
The man, 26-year-old Ian McGuire, was seen outside the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, located about three hours southwest of Orlando, wearing a sign that read: "2 cops dead in Orlando. God bless the shooter."
In a video he posted to YouTube showing him outside the sheriff’s office with the sign, McGuire wrote: "I decide to conduct a 1st amendment audit of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, as you know 2 cops were recently killed in Orlando."
On Monday, Markeith Loyd allegedly gunned down Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton when she attempted to arrest him outside a Walmart on Princeton Street and John Young Parkway, cops said.
He was wanted for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, when Clayton stopped him.
Loyd fled, leading authorities to launch a massive manhunt for the man they say should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
As Orange County Deputy Norman Lewis responded to the manhunt for Loyd, he was killed in a motorcycle crash.
Lewis grew up in Port Charlotte, not far from where the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is located.
“It’s disrespectful, disheartening to see such psychotic behavior from someone in our own community, especially after the unfortunate loss of a local graduate [Lewis] who was killed while partaking in the manhunt,” resident Chris Gage said to InsideEdition.com of McGuire's behavior.
Lewis, who was an esteemed member of the OSCO Motors/DUI unit, was a graduate of Port Charlotte High School and went on to the University of Central Florida, where he played football for the Knights.
His funeral, originally scheduled to be held at the First Baptist Church of Orlando on Friday, was postponed to Sunday after his family had an unspecified emergency, Sheriff's office spokesperson Jeff Williamson told the Orlando Sentinel.
A second service at Murdock Baptist Churchin in Port Charlotte that was planned for Sunday has been rescheduled for noon on Monday, and the funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Interment will immediately follow the service.
"That million dollar smile. The consummate professional," the Sheriff’s Office wrote of "Big Norm." "That’s how we will remember our gentle giant DFC Norm Lewis. RIP."
McGuire continued to record as individuals and police entered and exited the sheriff’s office, clarifying his position when some attempted to donate in support of the fallen officers’ families.
“I’m not supporting them ma’am. I’m supporting the guy who shot them,” he said.
At one point, he entered the Sheriff’s Office "to see if they allow my free speech," but left after getting "no bites."
McGuire told InsideEdition.com that while he understands why some might be upset with the wording of his sign, he was exercising his First Amendment right to free speech, which he said is most important.
"I don’t endorse murder or killing; my purpose of that sign was only to conduct a First Amendment audit to make sure the Sheriff’s Department was in compliance ... I don’t necessarily believe that it was good [that] they were murdered," he said.
McGuire, who said he has in the past held up a sign at the local public library that denied the Holocaust, said his "motto" is to "advocate the extreme."
"A right not exercised is lost... if you start to prohibit them, it's a slippery slope," he said.
McGuire has an extensive arrest history with Charlotte County that dates back to at least 2009, including an arrest in 2012 for allegedly pointing a rifle at three adults and a baby.
He and another man, both 22 at the time, were charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after they allegedly drove past a Port Charlotte home several times, eventually slowing down so that McGuire could point the firearm at the group as they sat on a porch.
That case was closed in 2013 when prosecutors declined to further pursue the case.
McGuire denies ever pointing a firearm at a group of people and said all arrests he has experienced were unjust.
Classifying many people's respect for law enforcement as "blind love," McGuire said: "When you don a blue suit and a gold badge, when you make a mistake, it’s just a mistake... when you or I make a mistake, you’re going to jail.
"I do have issues with law enforcement," he said. "I don’t wish death on them. I’m not glad someone’s dead."
The sheriff’s office declined to comment on the incident, but deputies told WTLV that the man is there regularly and said while it's distasteful what he's doing, they'll defend his First Amendment right to do it.
Loyd remains on the run, as authorities announced additional arrests of those accused of helping him evade capture.
Loyd's niece, Lakensha Smith-Loyd, and an ex-girlfriend, Jameis Slaughter, were arrested Wednesday and charged with being accessories to first-degree murder after the fact in the December 13 shooting death of Dixon, Loyd's pregnant ex.
Loyd's boss, Zarghee Mayan was arrested Tuesday for the same offense, as investigators say he admitted to giving the hungry Loyd free food Saturday, knowing he had been on the run since Dixon's murder, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Police said that during Mayan's confession Monday, he reportedly said he gave the niece, Smith-Loyd, $200 for Loyd two days after Dixon died.
Mayan, 33, said the money was "owed to him" for previous hours Loyd had worked at the Texas Fried Chicken restaurant he managed, the Sentinel wrote.
Police said that before his interrogation, Mayan never contacted authorities about Loyd's location, though he reportedly knew there was an arrest warrant for his former employee.
Smith-Loyd reportedly told the Sheriff's Office sometime after Dixon was murdered and before Clayton's slaying that she knew where her uncle was hiding.
She told officers she thought Loyd was defending himself in the act and would encourage him to turn himself in, but later became uncooperative with investigators, the Sentinel reported.
Slaughter, one of Loyd's ex-girlfriends, was arrested after police reportedly learned she had tried to collect rent money from a woman at Loyd's apartment and got into an argument with her.
Deputies allege she planned to give the money to Loyd and was helping him avoid capture.
Crimeline is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Loyd's arrest. Those with information about his whereabouts can contact them at 407-423-8477.
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