“The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns… 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.”
MORE on this story, Fox 13 News:
LAKELAND, Fla. – After protests turned to “civil unrest” in parts of Polk County Saturday and Sunday, the county issued a local state of emergency and a curfew Sunday and extended it to Monday at 8 p.m., until 5 a.m. Tuesday. Meanwhile, Sheriff Grady Judd had a warning for looters as he recapped the weekend’s events.
The Lakeland Police Department said a planned protest Sunday of about 100 people in Munn Park was peaceful and lawful Sunday. The group moved to the police station, which continued with no issues. However, some of those involved split off from the group and began blocking traffic at Florida Boulevard, which turned from citizens expressing their first amendment right to unlawful activity.
Lakeland PD said officers tried to disperse the crowd, but the sheriff’s office was called in to help clear the intersection.
“We are going to hunt you down and lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct,” Judd said.
Judd said there were rumblings on social media that rioters planned to bring violence into the neighborhoods of Polk County.