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Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, schooled reporters who think coddling violent thugs is the way to curb crime, saying they need to “wake up” from their delusional stupor.
Judd made the remarks at a news conference Thursday while discussing first-degree murder charges against 19-year-old gang member La’Darion Chandler, who allegedly shot 33-year-old rival gangster John McGee in December and then bragged about it in a rap video, WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg reported.
“Listen, that’s a bunch of hooey, that soft and cuddly feeling ‘we’re going to hug a thug and if we give them, you know, another popsicle and an Icee and a day out at the park, they’re going to be good,’” the sheriff said.
“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.”
Judd said gangsters become hardened on the streets because there’s no effective parenting at home.
The sheriff said children generally learn values from their mothers and fathers. When that’s missing, he said, they turn to gangs to fill the parental gap, and that’s when they plunge into a downward spiral of criminality and self-destruction.
“At the end of the day, it all starts with parenting at home, when they’re young, and keeping them away from this lifestyle,” he explained.
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