November 28, 2023


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Fired COVID scientist Rebekah Jones sues Florida above “sham” lookup warrant

3 min read

A former Florida Department of Well being staff sued the point out on Monday over a lookup warrant executed on her dwelling just after investigators stated they discovered a message sent from a pc at the address to well being office employees. Rebekah Jones, who was fired in May possibly for insubordination following continuously violating department plan about speaking with the media, aided generate the state’s coronavirus dashboard. She contends that she was fired for not falsifying data.

The Florida Office of Law Enforcement served the research warrant earlier this month. Jones posted a 31-2nd online video of officers coming into her residence, and the division later on unveiled far more than 20 minutes of bodycam video that exhibits she refused to respond to telephone phone calls and knocks on her doorway.

Data scientist Jones search warrant execution in Tallahassee, Florida
Rebekah Jones, a facts scientist who assisted make Florida state’s on-line COVID dashboard, waits with her arms lifted after being requested to stand outdoors, as law enforcement officers execute a look for warrant at her residence in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., December 7, 2020 in this however impression taken from bodycam video. 


Jones stated that she, her partner and two small children have been asleep when the officers arrived. Speaking in a YouTube interview with Florida These days earlier this month, Jones mentioned she essential to get dressed and explained to her husband to acquire the children upstairs due to the fact she considered the officers ended up arresting her and she did not want them to see that.

She explained she won’t fully grasp why the officers essential to raid her dwelling with guns drawn.

“They were there to serve a lookup warrant for a computer system. This was not an illegal, underground cartel,” she mentioned. “There was no chance of risk and (the hold off in opening the door) does not excuse that conduct.”

Rebekah Jones tweeted movie of the officers entering her property, expressing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis  “despatched the gestapo” to silence her.

The message that led to the research warrant implored staff still at the Wellness Office “to converse up before another 17,000 individuals are lifeless. You know this is wrong. You you should not have to be a portion of this. Be a hero.”

Jones has experienced several operate-ins with law enforcement above personalized difficulties, but has acquired worldwide notice by disputing Florida’s COVID-19 figures. She was paid out virtually $48,000 a year as a Section of Well being personnel, but given that May well has lifted practically $260,000 on a GoFundMe account immediately after criticizing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Plaintiff’s firing captured a terrific deal of media notice nationally and in Florida, much of it unfavorable towards Governor Ron DeSantis,” the lawsuit suggests. “Governor DeSantis brazenly denounced Plaintiff in the most vitriolic and vituperative manner in the furor adhering to her firing.”

It states the lookup of her residence was a “sham.”

The commissioner of the Florida Division of Legislation Enforcement, Rick Swearingen, stated he was “happy of the skilled” shown by his agents as they executed a authorized lookup warrant at the home.

“Our legal investigation continues, and even though I have not found this lawsuit, I feel the info will arrive out in courtroom,” the commissioner additional in an electronic mail despatched to reporters.

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