April 14, 2023


Meet the Viral Sheriff Who Took on Florida Nazis (Mack Lamoureux, April 14, 2023, Vice News)

When an anti-semitic hate group started harassing Jewish people on camera in Volusia County, Florida, Sheriff Mike Chitwood wasn't having it.

He held a press conference where he outed members of a local hate group and street performer collective the GDL, by publicly showing their faces and outlining their prior convictions. 

"When you're trying to crush a radical group of cowardly scumbags, unity and sunshine destroy it," said Chitwood at the start of the press conference. "The sunshine part we're going to play on the screen so everyone can see how despicable, cowardly, and reprehensible this group is."  

Chitwood brought up the mugshots of the GDL members and then walked those in attendance through the members' prior convictions. These included propositioning a 14-year-old for sex, aggravated assault, murder, terroristic threats and more. He then invited members of the Jewish community up onto the stage to talk. 

Clips of Chitwood's impassioned and insulting words for the neo-Nazis went viral--just this week a New Zealand paper declared the Florida sheriff a "cult icon."  Unsurprisingly the neo-Nazis also caught wind of Chitwood and he's been inundated with death threats (which has led to two arrests), piles of hate mail, and his parents have been doxxed. 

The 59-year-old isn't exactly what would come to a person's mind when thinking about a Florida cop. For starters, he's from Philadelphia, where he spent 18 years on the force, partially in the homicide department. On top of that, despite presiding over a rather conservative area in northern Florida, he's openly supportive of immigrants--something that doesn't appear to have hurt his popularity. 

Posted by at April 14, 2023 8:20 AM