Photo by Lev Radin
Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors (Jan. 6, 2021)
A deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office now faces charges related to the deadly insurrection at the U.S Capitol.
According to a statement from Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, the charges involve “written threats the deputy made related to the violence at the Capitol in Washington D.C.”
Peter Heneen, 29, a six-year deputy on the force, faces second-degree felony charges after he was arrested Tuesday. A fellow deputy reported threatening texts sent on Jan. 6 in which Heneen said he planned to murder federal officers, says Judd.
“Need to make the streets of D.C. run wet red with blood of the tyrants,” said Heneen in a text. “Should have drug those tyrants out into the streets and executed them sick of the corruption.”
Heneen also said “Any cop, or military, who stands in the way, is the enemy.”
The deputy told the witness that he has "a plan" and that he'll "fucking kill them all. I have my stuff, next to my bed, ready to go."
“When you have well over a thousand deputies, and one of them does something like this, it’s outrageous,” said Judd, “because it not only embarrasses them and this organization, but every other law enforcement officer across the state and country. But we always do what's right. So words matter. He's locked up in jail.”
There was no indication Heneen was involved in any extremist groups or militias, said Judd, who also stated that the deputy has since been fired and the investigation is still ongoing.
According to intelligence agencies, a number of current and former law enforcement officers
were involved with the Jan. 6 riot, which resulted in multiple deaths including two police officers. However, today's arrest is the first involving an active law enforcement officer from Central Florida.
Judd has consistently held a tough stance on "rioters and looters," but he's also said some tough words, specifically last summer during the nationwide calls for racial justice when he encouraged his local constituents to buy guns and shoot people.
"Let there be no misunderstanding, if you come here to riot, to loot, to injure people, we're going to lock you up in the county jail," said Judd to reporters on June 2. "We are going to hunt you down and lock you up if you engage in any criminal conduct."
Judd then issued a warning for anyone considering rioting or looting in Polk County. “I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County. Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone,” the sheriff said.
This post first appeared on our sister website Creative Loafing Tampa.
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