Florida sheriff bans sex offenders from Hurricane Irma shelters

Posted September 08, 2017

"If you show up at a shelter, we're going to shelter you safely, but it's going to be in the county jail because we have a legal obligation to execute the warrant", Sheriff Judd told FOX 13.

The Polk County Sheriff's Department sent out a series of tweets informing those with outstanding arrest warrants that they ought not head to hurricane shelters to avoid Irma, which is expected to make landfall in parts of Florida by September 9, according to CNN.

Two of the tweets specifically mentioned "sex offenders and predators" would be barred from public shelters.

Judd said police will be on duty at shelters checking the identities of everyone who comes in.

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The ACLU said that most people with outstanding warrants are dealing with low-level and nonviolent offences and pose no threat to others in a shelter. Or they could choose not to turn themselves in and avoid the shelters altogether.

Beneath a graying sky that foreshadowed the hurricane to come, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shrugged.

Earlier this week, Florida Governor Rick Scott warned that Hurricane Irma could likely be the most devastating tropical storm to hit the state in over a decade.

Polk County is in central Florida and includes the city of Lakeland. The article said Horstman authored the tweets on behalf of the sheriff's office. You are using the phrase, 'people who are scared to go to jail.' If you have a warrant, legally you should be in jail. Or, say, undocumented immigrants, of whom there are 450,000 living just in South Florida.

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Many internet users have immediately condemned the remarks made by the sheriff, accusing it of take advantage of the hurricane to make arrests.

"If somebody could possibly injure my child and I was in a shelter, I wouldn't want them around my kid", she said.

"It's a tragedy, we'll need to rebuild both islands".

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