Polk Sheriff Grady Judd sued over tweet warning suspects about showing up at Hurricane Irma shelters

File Photo: Sheriff Grady Judd

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is being sued over his tweet that said people who have outstanding warrants will be escorted to jail if they show up at a Hurricane Irma shelter.

Judd tweeted the warning on September 6. It said, “If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we’ll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail.”

The tweet did not go over well with Nexus Services, which is a company that provides legal services for immigrants. Nexus services filed a lawsuit against Grady Judd alleging unconstitutional pedestrian warrant checks at emergency shelters for Hurricane Irma evacuees.

“The defendants (Grady Judd and Polk County, FL) are engaging in a practice of discouraging people from seeking emergency shelter through fear, and conducting unconstitutional pedestrian warrant checks on Floridians in crisis, who are seeking life sustaining shelter from a major hurricane,” Nexus Services said in a news release announcing the lawsuit.

“Sheriff Grady Judd knew that people would be afraid because of his statements earlier this week. That fear is causing them to not seek shelter, and that as a result people… Men, women, and children, may die. This storm is deadly, and how many people will die or be injured because of Judd’s reckless tweets? The Sheriff has sworn an oath to protect people, not endanger them. His actions are reckless and unconstitutional, and he needs to be held accountable for his actions,” CEO of Nexus Services Mike Donovan said in the news release.

The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 10, 2017.

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