Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued a warning for sex offenders and predators seeking shelter with Hurricane Irma looming arrival, drawing a rebuke from civil rights supporters.
Judd said law enforcement officers will check identifications at county shelters, according to tweets posted Wednesday.
In the tweets, Judd said sex offenders would not be allowed at the shelters. He also stated sheriff’s deputies would escort anyone with a warrant to the Polk County Jail.
Know your zone: Tampa Bay-area evacuation zones and routes
If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) September 6, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement criticizing Judd's tweet, saying it will endanger lives and accusing him of trying to burnish his "tough cop" reputation:
"Most people with outstanding warrants are dealing with low-level and nonviolent crimes and pose no risks to others in a shelter.
Sheriff Judd's threatening tweets send the message that these individuals must choose between facing a natural disaster without aid and shelter or going to jail over things like unpaid parking tickets.
Sheriff Judd should we working to prepare his community, not burnishing his Joe Arpaio-style 'tough-cop' credentials with a series of irresponsible tweets."
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