A Florida county sheriff in the path of the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic offered a stark warning for anyone thinking about going to a local shelter: If there’s a warrant out for your arrest, you could wait out the hurricane in jail.
The Polk County Sheriff’s office posted a series of tweets on Wednesday warning anyone with an arrest warrant to stay away from shelters.
“If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we’ll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail,” the account tweeted on Wednesday.
The tweet sparked swift backlash online, as many critics noted that there could be arrest warrants out for offenses as minimal as parking tickets.
An incredibly popular sheriff who has been routinely reelected, Judd has a history of news-making comments, repeatedly urging his constituents to carry firearms and saying he would lock up Apple CEO Tim Cook if the company didn’t cooperate with Judd’s attempt to unlock two suspects’ iPhones in a murder investigation.
He has garnered a reputation for his focus on combating pedophilia and what he believes are other illegal sexually deviant acts, sparking criticism for bringing cases that have been easily dismissed.
“This guy has been abusing people’s constitutional rights for 15, 20 years,” first Amendment attorney Larry Walters told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011 of Judd, “He has a real hostility toward sexual expression. Anything erotic he assumes to be illegal.”
The sheriff’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Of all the gross things that America has invented and mass-produced, Aspiring Celebrity Tough Guy Sheriffs have to be about the grossest.
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) September 6, 2017
This is a position that some will applaud as “tough law & order” but could well result in death and/or diversion of emergency resources. https://t.co/Wvcy4GcHJS
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) September 6, 2017
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