Florida sheriff ‘highly recommending’ people to shoot looters who break into homes

Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd had a strong message for potential looters. (Polk County Sheriff/Facebook)

LAKELAND, Fla. (Gray News) - A sheriff in one Florida county says he is “highly recommending” property owners to shoot looters if they break into homes to steal or set fires.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued the warning to potential looters in a Facebook post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page Tuesday morning.

“If you value your life, they 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 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.

Judd encouraged peaceful protesting in the central Florida county, and he said there haven’t been any cases of protest-related violence so far. But that didn’t stop him from issuing the stern warning on social media.

“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," the sheriff said.

My heart is full with gratitude for our community today. Monday night we had zero incidents of protest-related violence....

Posted by Polk County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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