POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida sheriff addressed rumors on social media of riot activity trickling into residential neighborhoods Monday, warning would-be agitators that “the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns.”
“I would tell them, if you value your life, you probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “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.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has extended the county’s curfew another night following a weekend of unrest and criminal activity.
“The death of George in Minneapolis at the hands of that police officer was outrageous,” Judd said. “Had that police officer done here what he did there, he would have been locked up in the county jail by sundown.”
“But Minneapolis is not Polk County,” Judd continued. “And I want to say unequivocally that the community here is unbelievable … 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 emphasized his appreciation for peaceful protests, but condemned those who were there over the weekend looting and rioting.
Polk County’s curfew goes into effect from 8 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday.