Green Cove Springs, FL – Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels said “enough is enough” and posted a show of force from his department on Tuesday to warn protesters not to step out of line if they’re demonstrating in his county.
The sheriff announced that he would deputize “every lawful gun owner” if he needed additional backup (video below).
Sheriff Daniels, who is the first black sheriff to be elected in Clay County, posted the video to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page on June 30 as a warning in the fight against “lawlessness,” The Florida Times-Union reported.
The sheriff, who is known for his video statements, vowed in a three-minute message to put down any protests in his county that were not peaceful.
In the video, he stood in front of 18 deputies and delivered a stern warning that excoriated Black Lives Matter and other violent groups.
“Don’t fall victim or play victim 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,” Sheriff Daniels said at the start of the video.
“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,” the sheriff continued. “That means for me as a sheriff and 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 that’s making themselves a spectacle disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country.”
He pointed out that Clay County law enforcement has a great relationship with its community, and that residents of the county enjoy a great quality of life.
“Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in this country. Lawlessness, that’s unacceptable in Clay County,” Sheriff Daniels announced in the video. “And if you come to Clay County and you think for one second, we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken. I know what happens when lawlessness prevails.”
The sheriff, who is up for re-election against six opponents, serves a strong God-fearing southern community and infused the spirit of that in his message.
“And in this day and time, God is raising up men and women just like the folks standing behind me who will have strong backbones and will stand in the gap between lawlessness and the citizenry we’re sworn to protect,” he said.
Sheriff Daniels warned that it wasn’t a good idea for violent protesters to visit his jurisdiction.
“So, you can threaten all you want,” the sheriff said. “You can say ‘let’s go to Clay County’ or ‘let’s go to some other peaceful county where problems don’t exist where relationships are great and not strained and where the people support their sheriff and support the men and women in uniform.’ And you’ll have something waiting you don’t want.”
He promised to guard protesters’ Constitutional rights as long as they behaved peacefully and issued a stern warning to those who had other plans.
“But the second you step out from up under protection of the Constitution, we’ll be waiting on you and we’ll give you everything you want,” Sheriff Daniels vowed. “All the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour and glory for all that five minutes will give you.”
“Is it a threat?” the sheriff asked. “Absolutely not. But someone 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.”
Then he took his message a step further and explained how he would maximize his police force if matters got out of control in Clay County.
“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,” Sheriff Daniels said.
“That’s what we’re sworn to do. That’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned,” he added.
Watch the sheriff deliver his message in the video below: