Orange County, Calif., Sheriff Don Barnes pushed back against an "absurd" order from a local Superior Court judge ordering the release of more than 1,800 inmates, including some who are locked up for murder and child molestation, due to the coronavirus.
"I have no intention of doing that, of releasing those individuals back into the community. I think they pose a serious threat," Barnes told "Fox & Friends."
The decision by the court was made in response to an April lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an effort to protect disabled and medically vulnerable people at the Orange County Jail, reports said, but Barnes plans to appeal.
In the order, Judge Peter Wilson wrote that Barnes’ “deliberate indifference to the substantial risk of serious harm from COVID-19 infection to … medically vulnerable people in [his] custody violates their rights," according to KCBS-TV.
A total of 700 inmates are considered medically vulnerable, based on guidelines set by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Out of the inmates in this category, 59 are in for murder, 39 for attempted murder, and 90 for child molestation and a litany of other crimes, Sheriff Barnes said.