A Florida sheriff on Wednesday vowed to deputize lawful gun owners if protesters threaten violence to his county as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue to sweep across the country.
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels created a three-minute video condemning violence and warning that if any protester starts destroying his county, it's "not going to be acceptable."
Daniels said that while he would do whatever necessary to protect peaceful protests, action would be taken if things spiral out of control.
"Yes, we'll protect your constitutional rights as long as you remain under the umbrella of peaceful protest or peaceful march," Daniels said in the video, surrounded by his team of 18 deputies. "But the second that you step out from under the protection of the constitution, we will be waiting on you and we will give you everything you want — all the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour, and glory.
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."