Florida sheriff ‘highly recommending’ property owners ‘blow’ looters away

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A Florida sheriff is “highly recommending” local property owners shoot looters if they cause any trouble in his county.

While Polk County hasn't seen any violence from protests that have been erupting across the nation over the death of George Floyd, that didn't stop Sheriff Grady Judd from issuing the stern warning in a Tuesday morning Facebook post.

Judd said his office “had received information on social media that some folks were threatening to take their criminal conduct into the neighborhoods. That’s not a good idea in Polk County.”

“If you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County,” Judd said. “Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns.

“So, leave the community alone.”

Judd said there were three protests in Polk County on Monday night, and all were peaceful.

During a Tuesday news conference, Judd said, “Let there be no misunderstanding, at all, that if you come here to riot, to loot, to injure people, we’re going to lock you up in the county jail before quick.

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“The message is clear,” he said. “If you come here to peaceably assemble and protest, we’re gonna make sure we protect your constitutional right to do that and we encourage it. But for those who want to come in, stealthily, among those wonderful people who are simply making their position known, the ones that tried to infiltrate, we are going to hunt you down and lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct.”