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Florida Senate Democrats Call Raid Of Rebekah Jones' Home An Attempt To Silence Truth

rebekah jones 20200617_164347
Rebekah Jones

State elected democrats say the raid on the home of a former Florida Department of Health worker is an attempt to silence the truth. On Monday, FDLE seized her laptop from the home of Rebekah Jones as part of a hacking investigation. The state says someone with Jones’ IP address sent an unauthorized message through DOH’s emergency alert system. Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach) used the raid to criticize DeSantis’ pandemic response:

"The news that broke earlier this week of the armed execution of a search warrant on a whistleblower and former state employee dramatically illustrates the length that the governor goes to maintain his grip on public information. And it’s part of a troubling pattern," said Berman.

Jones was fired from the Department of Health in May. She claims it was for refusing to manipulate data relating to COVID-19 deaths. The agency claims Jones was fired over insubordination. The raid triggered Republican Attorney Ron Filipkowski to resign from one of the state’s Judicial Nomination Commissions. In his resignation letter, Filipkowski called DeSantis’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic ‘reckless and irresponsible’.

The FDLE released bodycam footage of the search warrant being executed. In a press release, Commissioner Rick Swearingen said agents afforded Jones quote: “ample time” to respond and that any danger to her family was a result of her actions. Jones refused agents’ phone calls and hung up on them.

“This video demonstrates that FDLE agents exercised extreme patience. Search warrants are one of the most dangerous events a law enforcement officer will engage in and many officers are killed each year during the execution of search warrants. No search warrant is routine or without potential officer safety issues regardless of the underlying crime. Agents afforded Ms. Jones ample time to come to the door and resolve this matter in a civil and professional manner. As this video will demonstrate, any risk or danger to Ms. Jones or her family was the result of her actions. I am proud of the way these FDLE agents performed. I can only hope those same individuals who criticized these public safety heroes will now apologize and condemn the actions of Ms. Jones."
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.