If you’re a violent mob looking for a place to riot, one sheriff in Florida has a message for you: “not in my county!”
A Florida sheriff warned that he would deputize legal gun owners in his county if he feels protesters are overwhelming the police force.
“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 in a video released on Tuesday.
“That’s what we’re sworn to do. And that’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned,” he added.
Daniels is shown standing in front of 18 deputies during the video, which was posted to his office’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.
Another Florida sheriff, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, warned rioters planning on spreading destruction in his county in June that residents will “blow you back out of the house with their guns.”
“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. They have guns. I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, 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,” he said.
Protests have popped up across the country following the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite his pleas for air.
Protesters have sought to raise awareness about systemic racism and police brutality against nonwhite people. While most of the demonstrations have been peaceful, there have been some instances of violence, including against law enforcement.