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Florida Gov. DeSantis defends agents who served search warrant on home of fired data analyst ​Rebekah Jones


'These people did their jobs. They've been smeared as the gestapo.'

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Image

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) came out swinging on Friday in defense of the state police officers who served a search warrant on the home of one of his administration's former employees earlier in the week.

What are the details?

On Monday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement served a search warrant on the home of Rebekah Jones, who was fired in May from her position as a data analyst for the Florida Department of Health. The DeSantis administration said she was let go for insubordination, and that she altered the state's coronavirus dashboard without authorization.

Jones claims the state has been misleading the public about its COVID-19 numbers, and now publishes her own independent data from her home.

When police arrived at Jones' house, she set up a camera to record what happened, and posted footage online showing officers entering her residence and walking through a hallway calling for Jones' husband to come downstairs with guns drawn in what's widely been reported as a "raid."

Ms. Jones claims agents "pointed a gun in [her] face" and "pointed guns at [her] kids." The footage does not show Jones' children or her husband. She hit out at DeSantis afterward, saying he "sent the gestapo" to get her to "shut up."

The FDLA confirmed serving the warrant, saying that they had been investigating a complaint from the Health Department that someone had "illegally hacked into their emergency alert system." The law enforcement agency denied that weapons were pointed at anyone in the home.

During a press conference Friday, a reporter asked DeSantis whether he knew "about the Rebekah Jones raid before it happened."

The governor said he "knew there was an investigation," but took offense to the reporter's use of the term "raid" to describe the incident where officers seized property from Jones' home.

"It's not a raid," DeSantis insisted, saying, "With all due respect, what you just said is editorializing," and he told the reporter, "I'm not going to let you get away with it."

"These people did their jobs," he continued. "They've been smeared as the gestapo for doing their jobs. They did a search warrant."

"Why did they do a search warrant on the house? Because her IP address was linked to the felony," DeSantis explained. "What were they supposed to do? Just ignore it? Of course not. They went, they followed protocol, we actually have video from the Tallahassee PD showing that they were very respectful. She was not cooperative."

"It was not a raid," DeSantis reiterated. "They were serving valid process in accordance with the laws and Constitution of the United States and the state of Florida. They did it with integrity, they did it with honor, and to say it's a raid is disinformation."

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