‘I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county … to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Florida sheriff warned protesters that he would deputize lawful gun owners to put down violence if things begin to get out of hand.
“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,” Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, the county’s first black sheriff, said on Tuesday.
“That’s what we’re sworn to do. And that’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned,” he said.
Daniels was immediately accused of abusing his position and encouraging “chaos.”
“We train under intense situations to control the adrenaline dump,” said Mike Taylor, a former FDLE agent and state attorney’s investigator, according to USA Today.
“To think we can put anyone in the role and it’ll be OK, we’re asking for a much bigger problem and inviting chaos and anarchy in the streets,” he said. “The citizens of Clay County deserve better than that.”
But Daniels isn’t the only officer vowing to crack down on rioters. Another Florida sheriff, Polk County’s Grady Judd, warned protesters back in June that he and his officers would “hunt down” any rioters and “lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct.”
He also said that Polk County residents would help him maintain order and “blow you back out of the house with their guns” if rioters tried to break the law and destroy property.
“I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County, because the people of Polk County like guns,” Judd said.
“They have guns. I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded,” he continued. “And if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone.”