Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has declared a state of local emergency and ordered a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.

In his order he cites threats of violence, assaults on law enforcement officers and refusal of crowds to disperse.

Here is the text of his order, sent in an email to local media outlets at 9:50 p.m.

Curfew for Polk County beginning at 10:00 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 2020, until 5:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, 2020.

Please read the declaration and publish accordingly:


WHEREAS, the past two days in Central Florida there have been incidents of rioting and civil unrest, felonious activity, and aggravated assaults upon law enforcement officers; and

WHEREAS, this afternoon May 31, 2020 at approximately 2:00 p.m. serious incidents have occurred in Lakeland and are on-going as of the time of declaring this local state of emergency, including threat of injury to civilians, aggravated assault and or battery to civilian(s), and aggravated assault on law enforcement officers. Thus far, participants are not dispersing as ordered by law enforcement officers and the activity is on-going.

WHEREAS, the Governor has not declared a State of Emergency.

WHEREAS, I have determined that there have been acts of violence or a flagrant and substantial defiance of, or resistance to, a lawful exercise of public authority and that, on account therefor, there is reason to believe that there exists a clear and present danger of a riot or other general public disorder, widespread disobedience of the law, and substantial injury to persons or to property, all of which constitute an imminent threat to public peace or order and to the general welfare of the affected jurisdiction.


Section 1. Incorporation of Recitals:
The Recitals above are hereby adopted and fully incorporated herein.

Section 2. Declaration of Local State of Emergency. Pursuant to 870.043, Florida Statutes there is hereby declared a Local State of Emergency within the boundaries of all of Polk County, Florida commencing at 10:00 p.m. on May 31, 2020 and continuing through June 1st, expiring at 5:00 a.m. June 1, 2020.

Section 3. Emergency Measures: Pursuant to 870.045, Florida Statutes a curfew is declared and imposed during the Local State of Emergency and all persons within Polk County, Florida are mandated to stay inside, with the exception of lawfully performing their job activities, including travel to and from said jobs, seeking medical care at a hospital, fire, police, and hospital services, including the transportation of patients thereto, utility emergency repairs, and emergency calls by physicians. Additionally, sale or other transfer of possession, with or without consideration, of gasoline is prohibited.

Section 4. Additional Automatic Emergency Measures: The additional acts specified in section 870.044, Florida States are prohibited automatically, due to the declaration of a state of local emergency.

Section 5: Violations: Violations of this Declaration of Local State of Emergency
constitute a crime as outlined in Chapter 870, Florida Statutes and other Florida Statutes.

Date: May 31, 2020

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com

Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

Join the Conversation


  1. Good for you Sheriff Judd! Enforce it whatever it takes! Riots by a bunch of criminals are not protests!!

  2. Thank you, Grady Judd, for always keeping public safety at the top of your priorities. Polk county loves you.
    Deborah Zahner

  3. I agree with you Sheriff Grady Judd. But everything was going on nicely, just young Black, and other races kids gatherings at Salem like if it was an after party. Mostly youngs. And you know that when they do an after party gatherings, and the police comes to disperse them, they do obey. I can see it through my window. Lots of time they gather by the gas station across from Saint Lukes Apts. Nothing big have so far happened. Not them, nor officers get into major issues. I love L.P.D. as much as I love you, and your Deputies. Always talk about the security in Lakeland. I feel secure here. I brag about living in Lakeland. The Munn Park Protest went smoothly. Very nice.
    Everything started at the gathering, after a “white” fellow tried to run over a Black girl. We saw the video, and me and my daughters agreed. He purposely threw his red car over the girl. Then the riots came. The rebellion invaded their brains. The anger rose, the screaming started. Like Pastor Cowart said. “ We talk, they don’t listen, if they don’t listen, we yell, if they don’t listen we scream. And they still not listening. And it’s being so many cases where a “white” officer kills a black person, when they can avoid going to that extreme. Yo can see racism in most of the cases when it goes against a black human being.
    I’m not against officers. Never, my youngest brother, is a retired Interpol agent. My nephew is a Police Officer there in my country. Cousins, and friends, have been in the security forces there in my Island.
    But this problem has to be analyzed. Do more talking, but more listening too. If an officer does wrong, and shows prejudice; let them go to be a bouncer. When the Race Minorities see that, they will stop to scream, because they are being listened. Then we can see a “Justice for all” in this Great Nation, and all its vicinities.
    I know that you are an awesome peace maker. I admire you very much. Let’s do something.

  4. I agree with keeping law and order but Sheriff Judd has deputies on his force both black and white that commit abuses on our citizens. My wife was victimized by a black deputy last year and a white female deputy lied about what happened to cover for the I’ll trained black deputy. Clean up your own house Judd. By the way Judd treats his inmates like animals.as a former police officer, I am stunned by what I have witnessed when it comes to the conduct of some of Judd’s deputies. I know that the majority of law enforcement personnel are out there doing there job to protect and serve our community but the 10% bad officers need to be weeded out.

    1. If you’re talking about your previous comment, it’s been published.

  5. What about the people that has to go to pick up someone at the mco late at night and we have curfew

  6. First there is division, then suppression and now control. From the book of fascism of a guy who idolizes Trump the fascist who has divided our United States, not America, the United States. Suppressing the rights of our citizens is just a step further in the act of a dictatorship which will fail as Judd is failing. And please don’t plant drugs in my vehicle as one of your idiot deputies did in a head on accident that was not my fault thus sending me to Bartow where I endured a night of real stupid, asshat comments from your not so bright deputies. When the truth came to light in just days, charges were dropped. I will not be so nice next time. By the way, I want my $200 bail back slick oh and MY DNA which is a violation of my Constitutional rights in this country, The United States of America.
    The Blue Wave is just beginning!

  7. Peaceful protest,great. Property damage and or persons injured or in danger not ok. Way to go Sheriff! Keep up the good work!
    Community please think. This makes our country look terrible. Let’s band together for good.
    Be Blessed!

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.)