With the backing of 18 other deputies, African American Sheriff Darryl Daniels vowed in a video that he will deputize gun owners in Clay County, Florida, if protesters decide to riot in his jurisdiction located southwest of Jacksonville.
“Don’t fall victim to subjecting yourself 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,” Daniels proclaimed in a 3-minute video posted to his department’s Facebook page. “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 these men and women as deputy sheriffs – and we end that with, ‘So help me God.’”
What true cops are about
As Clay County’s first black sheriff, Daniels addressed how chaos and anarchy has been allowed to subvert law and order across the country over the last several weeks.
“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,” the Florida sheriff pointed out. “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 for one second that we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken.”
He indicated that he would not allow rioters to destroy any part of his region – as they were permitted to do in Seattle and Atlanta – stressing that he would allow residents to protect their homes and families.
“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 of 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,” Daniels warned potential rioters. “That’s what we’re sworn to do, and that’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned.”
With cops under attack, citizens standing up
As precincts across the country – including the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Los Angeles Police (LAPD) – are being defunded by up to a billion dollars, not to mention squads being minimized and officers losing state support – leading many to take early retirement – many citizens are arming themselves for their own protection.
“During the last week of May, firearm sales were up 78% over 2019, according to an analysis by the small business software firm Womply,” USA Today reported in June.
With continuing protests and riots from coast to coast, police departments have not been able to bring law and order to the streets.
“In Seattle’s ‘Capitol Hill Organized Protest’ [CHOP] zone, six city blocks were taken over and a police station was abandoned, [while] in Minneapolis, a precinct was burned to the ground,” the Western Journal recounted. “The National Guard has been called into multiple places, [and] all the while, exhausted police departments are being defunded by Democratic mayors and city councils.”
Along with reinforcing citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms and defend themselves against militant left-wing rioters, Daniels made it clear to protesters that he also respects their right to peacefully assemble and protest.
“Yes, we’ll protect your constitutional rights – as long as 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,” he assured.
Empowering citizens to protect their own is no new concept in America.
“Last year, Scott Jenkins – the sheriff of Culpeper County, Virginia – vowed to deputize thousands in his county if the state’s Democratic leaders passed extreme gun control measures, [and] his county’s Board of Supervisors had unanimously agreed to declare the county a Second Amendment Constitutional County,” the Western Journal noted, adding that this trend could spread across America as violent mobs continue to viciously attack law-abiding citizens and their property.
Addressing concerns …
Daniels posted another video the next day discussing his declaration to deputize gun owners – when he further explained his plans to a local peaceful protester who voiced concern.
“We have not given – and will never give – anybody the autonomy or approval under the name of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office ... that is our responsibility,” Daniels asserted in his follow-up video, according to Fox News. “But when it comes to protecting this county, that is more than the sheriff’s office responsibility – it’s us collectively, it’s our county, it’s our community and our responsibility to police ourselves together, but when it comes to authority, the authority is the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and every sworn law enforcement officer in this jurisdiction.”
He continued to make sure demonstrators did not feel they would be under attack.
“[This protester has] some concerns about people who are essentially up in arms … or the only thing that they heard was that, ‘Hey, the sheriff says that he will make special deputies, and those deputies will be comprised of lawful gun owners in Clay County, and he will make them special deputies,’ which, to some people, it sounds like, ‘Wait a minute, you are going to give people a green light or authorize them to use deadly force on peaceful protesters.”
He insisted that this was simply not the case.
“That would be a violation or dereliction of my duties as the sheriff,” Daniels contended. “That would also be a violation of state statute.”