Black sheriff threatens to allow gun owning citizens to shoot Black protesters.

Darryl Daniels
Darryl Daniels

A Black Jacksonville sheriff who sounds more like the grand wizard of the KKK is threatening Blacks who are protesting the death of George Floyd and other injustices that he will not be patient with them.

Clay County Sheriff, Darryl Daniels, released a video that said he will make “special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county” if he feels there are too many protesters in the county.

In essence, Daniels is saying that if in his mind, the police force is outnumbered by protesters, he will use his powers to allow every lawful gun owner to shoot protesters. It could be a case where members of the KKK living in Clay County could legally come out and murder Black people just like the police do all over the United States. Then again, it is a twin line between the police and the KKK.

The three-minute video shows Daniels standing in front of 18 deputies, most of them white, as he derides civil rights protesters as godless disruptors and tells them to stay out of Clay County, a suburb of Jacksonville.

“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,” he said.

“That’s what we’re sworn to do. That’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned.”

Daniels, the county’s first Black sheriff, at least his skin looks Black.

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Daniels is a first-term sheriff up for reelection who has said he wants to one day be a congressman. He is being challenged by six opponents, including former Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michelle Cook, former Clay County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Director Ben Carroll and Mike Taylor, a former FDLE agent and state attorney’s investigator who has earned the endorsement of former Gov. Jeb Bush

His challengers accused him of inviting chaos to Clay County and insulting the training necessary to become a sheriff’s deputy.

“We train under intense situations to control the adrenaline dump,” Taylor said, “and we don’t do a perfect job at it, but we train to be prepared to make decisions under pressure. That’s necessary to be effective. To think we can put anyone in that role and it’ll be OK, we’re asking for a much bigger problem and inviting chaos and anarchy in the streets. The citizens of Clay County deserve better than that.”

Taylor added that deputizing private citizens could make the county liable to pay out lawsuits if the newly deputized citizens don’t act appropriately. “I don’t believe it was intended to be a pro-police message. I believe it was intended to be a propaganda message. Real police professionalism actually acknowledges that professionally trained police officers cannot be replaced by a swearing-in ceremony.”

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Cook said the video was a sign Daniels wasn’t capable of leading. “What Daniels said yesterday may sound tough and macho. But, instead, it is a call for vigilantism and another signal that he is incapable of leading the sheriff’s department and keeping Clay County safe.”

She added: “Instead of dealing with real issues in a meaningful way, he is behaving like a reality show sheriff and calling attention to himself. To make matters worse, he pulled 18 officers off the streets to be used as props for his taxpayer-funded campaign stunt. It’s no wonder morale is so low among our fine officers.”

Carroll, who spent 14 years at the Sheriff’s Office, said he runs a nonprofit that trains churches and private schools, and he believes it’s foolish to think private citizens could replace deputies.

“I’m sure that was a political production for the sheriff. I doubt seriously that there will ever be the need in Clay County to deputize all the citizens to stand in the gap. I believe the sheriff’s department is totally capable of standing in the pike.”

Carroll said he supports citizens owning and training to use firearms to protect themselves, but he believes the Sherrif’s Office must be capable of handling protesters on its own.

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