Meet the Sheriff who went viral after confronting Nazis in Florida.

Meet the Sheriff who went viral after confronting Nazis in Florida.

Florida Sheriff Mike Chitwood takes a stand against anti-Semitic hate group harassing Jewish people in Volusia County

Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County, Florida held a press conference to publicly identify members of a local hate group and street performer collective who were harassing Jewish people on camera. Chitwood showed their faces and outlined their prior convictions, including soliciting a minor for sex, murder, aggravated assault, and making terroristic threats. He invited members of the Jewish community to talk, and clips of his speech went viral.

The neo-Nazis caught wind of Chitwood, and he received death threats, piles of hate mail, and his parents were doxxed. Chitwood, who spent 18 years on the force in Philadelphia, openly supports immigrants, which hasn’t hurt his popularity in his conservative area. Chitwood’s press conference was prompted by the group dropping off leaflets extolling murder and genocide and hatred for the Jews on people’s private properties.

When someone associated with the same group ambushed and shot two Orthodox Jews outside of the synagogue in Los Angeles, Chitwood decided to speak out. He and his team researched and identified the group members, calling them scumbags and highlighting their criminal histories. Chitwood is brash, ignorant, and arrogant at times, but he believes overwhelmingly the people in his community support him. Chitwood’s parents received a fake call saying someone had killed them, which led to two arrests.

The death threats Chitwood has received have led to some arrests, and he thinks it’s important to make arrests to send a message to those making threats. Many of those making threats are mentally ill and spend up to 20 hours a day in neo-Nazi chat rooms. Chitwood believes that the groups are loading the gun and laying it on the counter, waiting for someone who’s marginalized, has a bit of mental illness and thinks they have to do something, to commit the atrocity based on the group’s propaganda.