Rebekah Jones (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)
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She claims Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) 'sent the gestapo' to get her to 'shut up'
Florida state police raided the home of a former data analyst for the Florida Department of Health on Monday, who claims Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) "sent the gestapo" to get her to "shut up."
Rebekah Jones was fired from her position in the DeSantis administration in May for allegedly modifying the state's COVID-19 dashboard unilaterally without authorization. She claims the state was misleading citizens on the coronavirus numbers, and now she runs her own COVID-19 tracking sites from her house.
What are the details?
Jones tweeted Monday that state police served a warrant at her home that morning and seized property, claiming that officers "pointed a gun in [her] face" and "pointed guns at [her] kids."
She posted accompanying video showing the purported scene from inside her home as police entered. Armed officers can be seen walking through the hallway, and pointing their firearms upward as they called for Jones' husband to come down the stairs. Neither Jones' husband nor the couples' children are seen in the footage.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed in a statement that they served a warrant on Rebekah Jones' residence, saying that they had been investigating a complaint from the Florida Department of Health that someone had "illegally hacked into their emergency alert system."
The FDLE said that their agents determined Jones' home "was the location that the unauthorized message was sent from."
The FDLE added:
Agents knocked and called Ms. Jones both announcing the search warrant and encouraging her to cooperate. Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents. After several attempts, Ms. Jones allowed agents inside. Agents entered the home in accordance with normal protocols and seized several devices that will be forensically analyzed. At no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home. Any evidence will be referred to the State Attorney for prosecution as appropriate.
Miami Herald reporter Jeff Butera obtained the search warrant for Jones' residence, indicating that on Oct. 10, an "unknown user gained access and sent this message to approx 1,750 people: 'it's time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don't have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it's too late.'"
What did Rebekah Jones say?
Jones said on Twitter of the raid, "They took my phone and the computer I use every day to post the case numbers in Florida, and school cases for the entire country. They took evidence of corruption at the state level. They claimed it was about a security breach. This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo."
She added later, "If Desantis thought pointing a gun in my face was a good way to get me to shut up, he's about to learn just how wrong he was. I'll have a new computer tomorrow. And then I'm going to get back to work."
The Herald reported:
In July, [Jones] filed a confidential whistle-blower complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, which she said is expected to release its findings soon.She also wrote in an op-ed in the Miami Herald in July that other state workers were being silenced for expressing their concerns about the state's handling of the coronavirus and its data collection.
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