Last week, Florida Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels caused a stir by releasing a video that warned those looking to break the law he would make “special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county” if he feels the county is overwhelmed by protesters.
Sheriff Darryl Daniels:
Hey folks, me and the men and women of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office just want to weigh in on what we see going on played out across the media, our mainstream media in this country. Look folks, don’t fall victim to subjecting yourselves to this conversation that law enforcement is bad, that law enforcement is the enemy of the citizens that we’re sworn to protect and serve.
We swore an oath, and in that oath we swore to support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the government and that we’re duly qualified under the state’s constitution to hold office. That is for me as a sheriff and for these men and women as deputy sheriffs, and we end that with ‘so help me God.’
But God is absent from the media’s message, or Black Lives Matter, or any other group out there that’s making themselves a spectacle, disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country. In Clay County, we have a great quality of life. We have a great relationship with our community, but across this country, not so much. I just wanted to take a stand with these men and with these women who feel the same way that I do.
Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in this country. Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in Clay County and if you threaten to come to Clay County and think that for one second that we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken. I know what happens when lawlessness prevails, and in this day and time, God is raising up men and women just like the folks you see standing behind me, who will have strong backbones and will stand in the gap between lawlessness and the good citizenry that we’re sworn to protect and serve.
So you can threaten all you want, you can say, ‘Hey, let’s go to Clay County’ or let’s go to some other peaceful county where their problems don’t exist or not so much like across this country, where relationships are great and not strained, and where the people support their sheriff and support the men and women who wear the uniform, and you’ll have something waiting on you that you don’t want.
Yes, we’ll protect your constitutional rights as long you remain under the umbrella of peaceful protest, or peaceful march, but the second that you step out from up under the protection of the Constitution, we’ll be waiting on you and we’ll give you everything you want: all the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour and glory, for all that five minutes will give you. Is it a threat? Absolutely not. But somebody has to step up in front of the camera and say, ‘Enough is enough.’
Tearing up Clay County, that’s not going to be acceptable. And if we can’t handle you, you know what I’ll do? I will exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I will make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county, and I’ll deputize them for this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility. That’s what we’re sworn to do and that’s what we’re gonna do. You’ve been warned.