The Ledger: Former Polk County Deputy Suing Sheriff Over Public Records

LAKELAND, FL — A former Polk County sheriff’s deputy who was fired earlier this year is suing Polk Sheriff Grady Judd for not providing public records, according to court filings. Shawnee McCawley requested copies of emails and text messages from eight Sheriff’s Office employees in an Aug. 9 letter sent by certified mail, according to the lawsuit. McCawley said in…

K-9s Against Peaceful Civil Rights Protestors

LAKELAND, FL — Recent revelations about the content of an email by an Assistant State Attorney to members of at least two Polk County law enforcement agencies have sparked outrage and fear within the Polk County African-American community. The email contained a suggestion that LEOs use K-9 units against peaceful civil rights workers at a rally. For…

The Ledger: Prosecutor’s Email Called Offensive

BARTOW, FL — A local prosecutor faces discipline for circulating an email to police about sending police dogs to a gathering of community activists, State Attorney Jerry Hill said. “Looks to me like a good opportunity for a K9 training exercise,” prosecutor Jack Riley wrote in July 2012 about meetings of the Polk Minority Justice Association, a predominantly black group, according…

The Ledger: Poor and Minority Justice Association Claims Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies Spied at Meeting

WINTER HAVEN, FL —  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office sent undercover officers to a Winter Haven community activist group’s meetings to spy on it and did the same thing later during a gathering of multiple groups at Polk State College, according to records recently obtained by The Ledger. Two Hispanic men who seemed sympathetic with concerns raised at the…