By Margaret Flavin
Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd has built a reputation of straight talk and being tough on crime.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Grady told homeowners facing looters during the tragedy, “I would highly suggest that if a looter breaks into your home, comes into your home while you’re there to steal stuff, that you take your gun and you shoot him – you shoot him so he looks like grated cheese.”
On the failures of law enforcement to protect children in Uvalde, Texas, Grady said,“If you come to a school in this county, armed, we’re going to do our best through either our guardians, our school resource officers, or our school resource deputy sheriffs to eliminate the threat outside of the school before they ever get to the children. We’re trained to do that.”
Sheriff Grady is back with more tough talk when it comes to the new gang task force created in the county and in response to a reporter’s question about why a warm and fuzzy approaches to violent gang bangers is not more prevalent.
During a press conference on the recent arrest of an alleged murderer, Grady provided detailed information about the arrest of La’Darion Chandler for allegedly shooting 33-year old John McGee. McGee was shot in the back in December of 2022 and was, as reported by FOX 13 Tampa Bay, expected to recover. McGee died on January 9th after refusing medication doctors said was needed to heal.
A reporter asks Grady, “It strikes me that the victim has a mother that cared about him, didn’t want him in that life anymore. We have this 19-year-old who’s young….how does the gang task force try to get young people, young kids, not to go into this life.”
Grady responds, “Listen, that’s a bunch of hooey…that soft and cuddly feeling, ‘we’re gonna hug a thug and if we give them another popsicle and an icy and a day out at the park they’re gonna be good….’ ”
“Y’all need to wake up. These dudes are taking y’all for fools. These are hardcore gangsters, gang bangers. They’ll eat your ice cream on Saturday and shoot up their rivals on Saturday night…and smile at you in the meantime.”
“So at the end of the day, it all starts with parenting at home when they’re young and keeping them away from this lifestyle. But when we’re having these ‘neighborhood events’ for these 15, 16, 17 year old hard core gang bangers…they’re smiling at you in the daytime and going up and dressing like this at night (the Sheriff shows a teen in gang banger garb.)”
“This kind of person, I’m not talking about everybody, this kind of person is paying no attention.”