Florida Sheriff Judd advises residents to shoot looters until they ‘look like grated cheese’

The criminal act of looting is generally frowned upon in much of the country, certainly in Republican-run states, and that has been made exceedingly clear in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Florida’s Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd recently advised his residents to be armed and to shoot any would-be looters so that they “look like grated cheese,” The Tampa Free Press reported.

Just days earlier, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) had offered a similar, albeit less explicit warning to would-be looters by reminding them that Florida is a “Second Amendment state” with armed property owners amid scattered reports of looting in largely evacuated areas.

The sheriff has no love for looters

“People have a right to be safe in their homes. They have a right to their property, to be safe even when part of their home may be torn away,” Sheriff Judd said Friday during an interview on Fox News. “And these looters, that’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable.”

“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,” he continued. “You shoot him so that he looks like grated cheese — because you know what? That’s one looter that will not break into anyone else’s home and take advantage of them when they’re the most vulnerable and the most weak.”

“The community is gonna come together and if there are looters that think they’re gonna take care of these people, they may break in, but they should be carried out in a pine box because that is unacceptable, that cuts against all laws and all reality,” Judd added. “You have the right, and your property has a right, to be safe and secure in your home, what’s left of it.”

Looters beware: Florida is a “Second Amendment state”

Less than a week before that, Gov. DeSantis had also issued a warning to looters that their criminal acts could be met with armed resistance during a press conference about hurricane recovery efforts.

“The other thing we are concerned about, particularly in those areas that were really hard hit, is we want to make sure we are maintaining law and order,” DeSantis said. “Don’t even think about looting. Don’t even think about taking advantage of people in this vulnerable situation.”

Noting the offered assistance of local and state law enforcement to guard against looting, the governor added, “Because you can have groups of people bringing boats into some of these islands and trying to ransack people’s homes. I can tell you, in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home, and I would not want to chance that if I were you, given that we are a Second Amendment state.”