In late June, in order to excite far-right voters before a competitive primary, Clay County (Florida) Sheriff Darryl Daniels (an African American Republican finishing out his first term) said he would “deputize” gun owners to ward off Black Lives Matter protesters who got out of hand… which was interpreted as him saying he would give gun owners the ability to shoot those deemed not peaceful enough.
His message came with a strong dose of religious language, saying that part of the nation’s problem was how “God is absent from the media’s message.”
Turns out part of the nation’s problem is that sheriffs like Daniels are criminals.
Yesterday, he was charged with three felony counts for lying to authorities and tampering with evidence. It all stems from a case in which he allegedly told a deputy to “arrest his onetime mistress on ginned up stalking charges.”
The backstory is all kinds of salacious, involving a mistress and death threats. (You know… Christian things.)
Cierra Smith, a former corrections officer, and Daniels had been in a long term adulterous relationship since 2012 — when she was the sheriff’s subordinate employee. In 2019, Daniels’s wife learned about the indiscretions and allegedly threatened to kill Smith.
The three eventually attended the same event in May 2019. After they all left, Daniels called in the stalking report and Smith was arrested but was not booked because the responding officer said there was no probable cause to go any further.
It should go without saying that the BLM protesters caused far less chaos than Daniels. Whenever people use God to justify abhorrent behavior, it’s always safe to assume they are harboring their own secrets. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pastor, a cop, or a Duggar. Daniels, by the way, has multiple degrees from Liberty University… because of course he does.
Daniels says these charges are designed to discredit him just before Tuesday’s GOP primary. Because there are no Democrats in the race, the winner of the Republican primary will effectively win the race. It would be disappointing if these charges were the reason he didn’t get re-elected; there were good reasons to vote against him before all this came to light.