A road renaming ceremony took place in Orlando on Monday morning for fallen Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton, slain during a search for accused killer Markeith Loyd.
- Lt. Debra Clayton remembered by family, friends during ceremony
- Memorial highway is between John Young Parkway, Pine Hills Road
- Later this week, road will be dedicated to Deputy Norman Lewis
A portion of Princeton Street between John Young Parkway and Pine Hills Road in Orange County is now known as "Lt. Debra Clayton Memorial Highway."
Clayton's aunt, Charlotte Woods, flew in from California for the road-renaming ceremony.
"It won't take us back, it will take us forward, letting us know that when we see her name, how proud we are of her," she said.
Investigators say that in December 2016, Loyd shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon — who was nine months pregnant — and also left Dixon's brother, Ronald Stewart, in critical condition.
Clayton was shot and killed in the line of duty when trying to apprehend Loyd at a Walmart on John Young Parkway in Orlando.
Now, a highway sign stands outside the Walmart, honoring her for her service and sacrifice.
Unveiling of the "Lieutenant Debra Clayton Memorial Highway" sign. pic.twitter.com/pFXV6xnHJO— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) August 14, 2017
Woods said people are still reaching out to her family to tell them stories about Clayton, who served with the Orlando Police Department for more than a decade.
"When she arrested people, she not only arrested them but she always gave them a lecture: 'Get your life together.'
"She's going to take you to jail, but she's going to also love up on you and let you know you can do better," Woods said.
Also at Monday's ceremony were Rep. Val Demings and Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
"As I walk into the station, I see her handcuffs that were placed on her killer. There's a picture of Debra on my desk, because I never want to forgot the leader that she was in our community," Mina said.
The ceremony was also a birthday celebration — Clayton on Monday would have turned 43.
The "Lieutenant Debra Clayton Memorial Highway" is part of House Bill 73, which creates 50 honorary designations.
On Wednesday, another member of law enforcement who died while looking for Loyd will be honored. At 9:30 a.m., there will be a road designation ceremony for Orange County Sheriff's Deputy 1st Class Norman Lewis, who died in a car accident during the search for Loyd. The ceremony will be held at 5218 Silver Star Road.