WATCH: Florida Sheriff Dares Rioters to Come to His County – Says He'll Deputize Every Gun Owner If Necessary

A Florida sheriff effectively dared rioters to come to his county, saying he was prepared to deputize every legal gun owner as law enforcement if necessary.

In a PSA posted to his office’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels said: "We’ll be waiting on you and give you everything you want: all the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour and glory for all that five minutes we’ll give you."

Daniels, who was wearing a cowboy hat and flanked by 18 uniformed deputies, took issue with the “mainstream media” narrative that “law enforcement is bad.”

As dramatic background music played, he faulted the media and Black Lives Matter for godlessly “disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country.”
  • “In Clay County, we have a great quality of life,” he said. “We have a great relationship with our community.”
  • "Lawlessness? “That's unacceptable in Clay County,” added Daniels, who has overseen a 6.7 percent drop in crime in his three years as sheriff.
Addressing would-be violent protesters, Daniels warned: “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 the county, and I’ll deputize them to this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility.”
Some liberals decried Daniels’ comments as dangerous and ill-considered, and others accused him of using his office to campaign for reelection ahead of the August Republcian primary.

But the reaction was very different on the right, where patience with weeks of anti-racism protests and riots across the country protests has worn thin. In local TV interview last month, Daniels expressed understanding of outrage over the May 25 death of George Floyd, a fellow black man, in Minneapolis police custody.
  • But referring to violence by protesters, he said: "Two wrongs don't make a right."
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