Florida sheriff says he will deputize ‘every lawful gun owner’ in county if protests get out of hand

Sheriff Darryl Daniels (Clay County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Sheriff Darryl Daniels (Clay County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida sheriff is warning protesters that he is willing to deputize legal gun owners if protests get out of hand.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, protests have erupted worldwide.

Darryl Daniels, sheriff of Clay County, Florida, said in video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, “God is absent from the media’s message or Black Lives Matter or any other group that’s making themselves a spectacle disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country.”

He encouraged the public not to “fall victim” to the idea that “law enforcement is bad, that law enforcement is the enemy of the citizens that we’re sworn to protect and serve.”

If protests turn violence, he says may ask legal gun owners to step in.

“If we can’t handle you, I’ll exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I’ll 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,” the sheriff said. “That’s what we’re sworn to do. That’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned.”

Daniels is Clay County’s first Black sheriff, according to the Florida Times-Union.

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