June 22, 2021 18:40

FL Agents Raid Ex-Manager of State COVID-19 Data

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents raided the home of Rebekah Jones, the former Department of Health employee who once managed Florida’s COVID-19 data dashboard and has become a vocal critic of the state’s handling of the pandemic since she was ousted in May, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Jones said state police entered her house Monday to serve a warrant on her computer after a complaint filed by the state Department of Health. Officers seized her phone and the computer she uses to track and release data on COVID-19 cases in Florida and held Jones and her family at gunpoint, she said. “They took evidence of corruption at the state level,” Jones posted on Twitter. “They claimed it was about a security breach.”

In a video posted by Jones, agents can be seen ushering her out of her house and asking who else is inside the home. Jones tells them her husband and two children are upstairs, and an officer walks toward the stairs holding up a gun while asking Jones’ husband to come down. A state law enforcement spokesperson said agents have been investigating “unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system” used to send out emergency alerts. The investigation led agents to believe someone at Jones’ address illegally accessed the alert system. “When agents arrived, they knocked on the door and called Ms. Jones in an attempt to minimize disruption to the family,” the spokesperson said. “Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents. After several attempts and verbal notifications that law enforcement officers were there to serve a legal search warrant, Ms. Jones eventually came to the door and allowed agents to enter.” The spokesperson said agents entered Jones’ home “in accordance with normal protocols” and did not point weapons at anyone in the house.

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