Sheriff that threatened Apple CEO is now terrifying disaster victims on Twitter

Sheriff that threatened Apple CEO is now terrifying disaster victims on Twitter

Sheriff Grady Judd yesterday sent out several tweets from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department Twitter account threatening the criminals in his county with jailing if they sought shelter from storms related to hurricane Irma.

This isn’t the first time the US law enforcement leader has gotten publicity in the tech community, he’s the guy who repeatedly threatened to jail Apple CEO Tim Cook if the company didn’t change its policy on customer privacy. Before that he’d accused the company of being complicit in online child abductions by building secure systems.

His failure to understand that computers and networks are worthless without security, and why Apple and other technology manufacturers can’t simply create law enforcement back doors into their systems, is almost comical. But there’s nothing funny about the leading law enforcement agent in the county threatening people out of ignorance.

Yesterday, Judd began tweeting and he made it known convicted sex-offenders wouldn’t be given shelter in the storm.

Far be it from me to ever defend the rights of a sexual predator. However, I’m concerned when it looks like people who’ve been convicted, sentenced, and released from prison – in other words citizens who’ve had their rights restored – are being denied shelter during a disaster.

Judd wasn’t finished, unfortunately, he also threatened anyone with a warrant:

It’s understandable if you feel like criminals should be brought to justice, and I agree with you. However, let’s be clear here: not all warrants are created equal. During a disaster there’s almost no chance you’re going to be able to contact your lawyer and make rational legal decisions about your future.

Forcing someone to choose between safety and being jailed without a lawyer on their side is cruel, especially for families.

Law enforcement officers perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. They put their lives on the line every single day in order to protect and serve the American people. They are heroic men and women who deserve the highest magnitude and order of respect from each and every person who calls the US home. What they choose to do with that respect, and the public trust that comes with it, defines the nature of the relationship between cop and citizen.

When our faith is betrayed, and we are threatened by the people sworn to protect us, the system of law and order becomes imbalanced.

Using Twitter as a tool to terrify people is a reprehensible act. A soccer-mom with parking tickets shouldn’t feel pigeon-holed in with a rapist at-large.

And those who have served their sentence and done their time, who remain on the sex-offender registry, shouldn’t be banished from public shelter. It’s an obvious oversight and admission of failure to declare that you, as the Sheriff, aren’t prepared to protect all of your citizens when disaster strikes.

When disaster strikes our leaders should use the pulpit given them by social media – one that reaches the entire world – to not only spread hope and encourage safety, but to demonstrate to the world that Americans are compassionate people who care about each other.

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