Dec. 21 (UPI) — The former Florida Section of Overall health data scientist who was fired from running the state’s COVID-19 facts dashboard sued the Florida Division of Law Enforcement around a raid on her house earlier this month.
Rebekah Jones submitted the 19-page lawsuit in Leon County civil courtroom stating that the FDLE violated her constitutional legal rights by serving the lookup warrant on Dec. 7, which the accommodate states sought to “silence” her online speech and attain the favor of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“The basis of this warrant was a sham to punish the plaintiff for her safeguarded speech,” the match states.
Jones on Dec. 7 posted movie from a property surveillance digital camera that appeared to clearly show armed officers getting into her dwelling and demanding that she, her two young children and partner leave the residence as FDLE reported it served a look for warrant as section of an investigation alleging Jones experienced breached an crisis messaging notify procedure and had “illegally accessed the program.”
She mentioned regulation enforcement took the cellphone and computer system she applied to run her personally created coronavirus dashboard that the lawsuit explained as well known with experts and medical experts for its “scrupulously exact and honest info.”
Jones’ legal professional, Rick Johnson, on Monday mentioned her authorized workforce will file a movement on Tuesday asking a choose to buy the FDLE to return the electronics taken from her household.
The go well with also mentioned regulation enforcement pointed guns at Jones and her household and then an unnamed agent “ran his hands up and down her ribs and grasped her sides just underneath her breasts and held her” as she stood with her arms elevated.
Jones was fired by the point out in May possibly for “insubordination” soon after publicly complaining that state officials were being pressuring her to falsify facts related to the coronavirus and submitted a whistleblower report from the Florida Section of Overall health declaring she was terminated for refusing to do so.
The raid stemmed from an allegation that Jones experienced hacked into the Florida Office of Unexpected emergency Management text information services and despatched the concept to countless numbers of Division of Overall health staff members stating “It truly is time to speak up before another 17,000 individuals are useless. You know this is mistaken.”
Jones has not been charged with a criminal offense but has denied breaching the method and her suit states that officers unsuccessful to think about her IP deal with may possibly have been spoofed and mentioned that log-in information for the system had been posted on the net.
The go well with also states that Jones has been given detest mail and harassing telephone phone calls right after condition law enforcement produced a warrant which include her house address and other private facts.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen on Monday issued a statement indicating he was “proud of the professionalism demonstrated by our FDLE agents as they served a lawful look for warrant on the residence of Rebekah Jones,” including that a criminal investigation is ongoing.