On Monday, June 1, 2020, Grady Judd, the long-time (since 2004) Sheriff of Polk County, FL, and a Lakeland, FL native, issued a statement extending the county’s curfew for another night. The curfew was in response to a weekend of unrest and criminal activity, inspired by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers.

Sheriff Polk said, “The death of George in Minneapolis at the hands of that police officer was outrageous,”and that “Had that police officer done here what he did there, he would have been locked up in the county jail by sundown.”

However, the sheriff gave a stern warning, saying. “But Minneapolis is not Polk County, and I want to say unequivocally that the community has been absolutely totally wonderful.”

The Sheriff then emphasized his appreciation for peaceful protests, but condemned those who were there over the weekend looting and rioting. He went on to say, “But please understand, that if you come here to riot, to loot, to injure people, we’re going to lock you up in the county jail.”

Judd ended his address by speaking on a possible threat they’ve seen referenced on social media that suggests riot activity may start trickling into residential neighborhoods.

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

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