Lake County, Florida, Sheriff Peyton Grinnell isn't playing around when it comes to heroin dealers on his street, and he made that very clear when he and his department released a video on Facebook that went viral due to its strident, no-nonsense tone. Some, however, think the video looks too much like propaganda videos released by the terrorist group ISIS.
The video consists of Grinnell standing behind a podium, and flanked by four masked drug enforcement officers as intense music plays in the background.
"To the dealers who are pushing this poison, I have a message for you," says Grinnell in the video. "We're coming for you. As a matter of fact, our undercover agents have already bought heroin from many of you. We are simply awaiting for the arrest warrants to be finalized."
"So, to the dealers I say enjoy looking over your shoulder, constantly wondering if today's the day," he continued. "We come for you. Enjoy trying to sleep tonight, wondering if tonight's the night our SWAT team blows the front door of its hinges."
The problem, however, doesn't seem to be the message Grinnell is getting across, it's the fact that the four officers he is accompanied by are wearing hooded masks.
Florida sheriff taunts drug dealers in bizarre video (What the hell, are we ISIS now?) https://t.co/y9xLgIiiyh— Mercedes Ashley (@Mercedes Ashley)1491935872.0
Florida sheriff's video about heroin gets compared to ISIS clips https://t.co/5Fs4CebguN https://t.co/RzPJdYFczt— TrutherUFO (@TrutherUFO)1491934705.0
Appearing on "Fox and Friends," Grinnell defended the commercial to host Steve Doocy, saying that he and his officers work undercover in a “dark and dangerous world" and so their identities must be kept a secret.
“But they wanted to be a part of that video,” Grinnell said. “They have a passion to serve. They want to make sure this county is safe so I was proud when they wanted to be on that video.”
Grinnell says he never thought the video would go viral, and that he merely intended to put drug dealers on their heels, and give the citizens of Lake County some peace of mind.
“I just wanted to reach out to our citizens in Lake County to let them know that I recognize that there is a problem and to ask them for their help – to let them know they could report anonymously to us where these drug dealers’ houses are at,” he said.