Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels made it clear this week that he and his officers will not put up anyone who would bring their lawlessness to his Florida community.
In a video YouTube statement posted Tuesday, Daniels, who is black and a Republican, stood with about 20 deputies to declare to civil rights protesters who might consider getting violent that they are not only not welcome in Clay County, but also that he would not hesitate to dole out the pain and use legal gun owners to help keep the peace.
Standing by their oath
Daniels began by letting citizens know that he and his officers are aware of the debate going on nationwide about police reform and sought to reassure them that the men and women in his office will stand by their oath to protect and defend the Constitution and protect the public.
"Look folks, 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 said, noting that it's an oath that ends with "so help me God."
"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," he continued. "In Clay County, we have a great quality of life, we have a great relationship with our community."
Lawlessness won't prevail
He went on to explain how he and his officers view the lawlessness that has spread in many other cities and counties across the U.S.
"Lawlessness — that's unacceptable in this country. Lawlessness — that's unacceptable in Clay County," Daniels said. "If you threaten to come to Clay County and think that for one second we'll bend our backs for you, you're sadly mistaken."
"I know what happens when lawlessness prevails," he continued, adding, "God is raising up men and women, just like the folks you see standing behind me, who will have strong backbones and will stand in the gap between lawlessness and the good citizenry that we're sworn to protect and serve."
Gun owners as backup
With that said, he offered a very clear warning to those who would bring riots to Clay County.
"You can threaten all you want," Daniels said, but promised there would be a response: "You'll have something waiting on you that you don't want."
"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 out from up under the protection of the Constitution, we'll be waiting on you," he warned. "And we'll give you everything you want — all the publicity, all the pain, all the glamor and glory for all that five minutes will give you."
Daniels said his speech was not a threat, but rather what people with courage who are tired of the violence need to do: "Somebody 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."
And yes, he did say that he would bring in legal gun owners as back up.
"If we can't handle you, you know what I'll do? I will exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I will make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county," he said. "And I'll deputize them for this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility. That's what we're sworn to do, and that's what we're going to do."
"You've been warned," he concluded.
Sheriff Daniels speaks on who we are as a people youtu.be
(H/T: New York Daily News)