'They pointed guns at my kids': Moment armed cops raid home of fired Florida health department data scientist suspected of hacking health department website to send message urging staff to speak out on COVID 'before it's too late'

 Florida police wielding firearms conducted a raid at the home of Rebekah Jones, the health department data scientist who built its Covid-19 dashboard before being fired for insubordination. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed the early morning search after Jones shared a 30-second of the encounter on Twitter. 

She has been under investigation since early November when someone illegally accessed the state´s emergency alert health system. 

'At 8:30 am this morning, state police came into my house and took all my hardware and tech. They were serving a warrant on my computer after DOH filed a complaint,' she wrote.

'They pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids.' 

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a search warrant at the home of Rebekah Jones (pictured) on Monday in Tallahassee

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a search warrant at the home of Rebekah Jones (pictured) on Monday in Tallahassee

Police raid home of Florida bureaucrat who built COVID dashboard
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Footage shows Jones pulling open the home's front door to reveal an armed and uniformed FDLE agent. 

The agent orders her outside before asking who else is in the home. When she responds her husband and children, the agent approaches the staircase and shouts for the husband to come downstairs.

'Police! Come down, now! Search warrant,' the agent yells, pointing his firearm towards the staircase. '

When agent tells Jones to calm down, she shouts: 'He just pointed a gun at my children!' 

At least four FDLE agents were seen in the available footage.       

Jones said FDLE agents arrived around 8.30am to take 'all [her] hardware and tech' from inside the Tallahassee, Florida, home

Jones said FDLE agents arrived around 8.30am to take 'all [her] hardware and tech' from inside the Tallahassee, Florida, home 

During the 30-second clip, Jones accusses officers of pointing their firearms at her children while they conducted the search warrant

During the 30-second clip, Jones accusses officers of pointing their firearms at her children while they conducted the search warrant 

Earlier this year, Jones received national recognition for her work in creating Florida's Covid-19 dashboard while working with the Department of Health.

She was fired from her geographic information system manager position for 'insubordination' after being reprimanded several times and making public remarks about the data.

But Jones claimed that she was fired for refusing to manipulate Florida's Covid-19 health data to paint a more optimistic picture. 

Early in the pandemic, Jones wrote blog posts and reached out to media outlets and researchers sowing doubt about the credibility of the data now that she is no longer in that role.  

The data was crucial as the governor was trying to make highly controversial decisions on whether to reopen Florida's economy

State health officials strenuously deny any issue with the information´s accuracy.  

Jones wrote a July Op-Ed in the Miami Herald the suggested state workers were being dissuaded from speaking out about the state's data collection and response. 

She has since created her own nationwide Covid-19 dashboard.

Jones shared footage of the incident ot her Twitter page on Monday evening

Jones shared footage of the incident ot her Twitter page on Monday evening 

She placed blame for the raid on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and suggested he was attempting to silence her

She placed blame for the raid on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and suggested he was attempting to silence her

Jones: 'This is what happens to scientists who do their job honestly. This is what happens to people who speak truth to power'

Jones: 'This is what happens to scientists who do their job honestly. This is what happens to people who speak truth to power'

Jones: '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'

Jones: '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'

'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,' wrote on Twitter Monday.

Jones placed blame for the search warrant solely on Gov. Ron DeSantis.  

'This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo,' she wrote. 

'This is what happens to scientists who do their job honestly. This is what happens to people who speak truth to power. I tell them my husband and my two children are upstairs... and THEN one of them draws his gun. On my children. This is Desantis' Florida.' 


In her final Tweet, she alleged that the raid was conducted as a way to silence her.

'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,' wrote Jones.

 'I'll have a new computer tomorrow. And then I'm going to get back to work.' 

A FDLE spokesperson told Tampa Bay Times that it issued the search warrant after suspecting Jones of hacking into the health department website and sending an unauthorized message. 

The message, sent on November 10, was sent to members of the State Emergency Response Team that coordinates public health and medical responses.

The message told members 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.'

Florida authorities opened an investigatio into Jones (pictured) for potentially hacking into the health department's website and sending an unauthorized message

Florida authorities opened an investigatio into Jones (pictured) for potentially hacking into the health department's website and sending an unauthorized message 

After being fired, Jones continued to speak out against Florida officials and set up her own Covid-19 dashboard

After being fired, Jones continued to speak out against Florida officials and set up her own Covid-19 dashboard

Jones denied being involved and told reporters that she didn't know 'how to do that stuff.'

An FDLE spokesperson addressed the search warrant in a statement to Tallahassee Democrat Monday evening.

'FDLE began an investigation November 10, 2020, after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only.

'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. Ms. Jones' family was upstairs when agents made entry into the home.  

'As in all cases, our role is to determine the facts of what happened and a State Attorney determines whether or not charges are filed.' 

'They pointed guns at my kids': Moment armed cops raid home of fired Florida health department data scientist suspected of hacking health department website to send message urging staff to speak out on COVID 'before it's too late' 'They pointed guns at my kids': Moment armed cops raid home of fired Florida health department data scientist suspected of hacking health department website to send message urging staff to speak out on COVID 'before it's too late' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:21 Rating: 5

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