Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Sheriff threatens to lock up anyone with warrants seeking shelter from Irma

A man reacts in the wind and rain as Hurricane Irma slams Luquillo  Puerto Rico A man reacts in the wind and rain as Hurricane Irma slams Luquillo Puerto Rico
Andrew Cummings | 08 September, 2017, 00:49

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

A Sheriff in central Florida is stirring up a debate online after tweeting that officers will be denying entry to sex offenders seeking shelter from Hurricane Irma. He warned that sex offenders would be turned away. "Period. Our shelters are going to be safe".

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office website, 45 people with "Smith" as their last name and 36 people with "Jones" as their last name have warrants.

When checking IDs, if an officer sees that someone has a warrant, that person will be taken into custody, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said.

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Some tweeters wondered whether their unpaid parking tickets or a decades-old crime on their record could result in spending the night in a jail cell rather than on a FEMA shelter cot. Being landlocked is no protection against hurricanes, the sheriff's office noted, tweeting the hashtag: #goawayIrma. He also stated sheriff's deputies would escort anyone with a warrant to the Polk County Jail.

Arpaio, a former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, was found guilty of criminal contempt for allegedly defying a judge's 2011 order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. If this was about sexual predators, you'd be out hunting for them every single day if they had outstanding warrants. That's the same approach they took with Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

And in a joint statement, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they would focus on "lifesaving and life-sustaining activities" rather than target undocumented immigrants at evacuation sites.

Horstman defended the policy. As does whether or not there'll be a Polk County left when Irma is done with it. "This is not the message we need to be sending out with a disaster upon us".

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