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Gov. DeSantis denies knowledge of Rebekah Jones raid

FDLE agents raid home of former COVID-19 Dashboard designer.
FDLE agents raid home of former COVID-19 Dashboard designer.(Rebekah Jones @GeoRebekah)
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 12:08 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WPEC) - A spokesperson for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tells CBS12 News the governor had no prior knowledge of the raid carried out at the home of former DOH COVID dashboard creator Rebekah Jones.

Jones tweeted a video of FDLE agents executing a search warrant at her home Monday afternoon. The video shows officers pointing guns upstairs where Jones says her children were located.

State police agents on Monday raided the home of a former Florida Department of Health employee who helped build the state’s first COVID-19 dashboard.

“This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo,” Jones tweeted.

The Governor’s office told CBS12 News he had nothing to do with it.

“Evidence is abundantly clear that the governor had no knowledge of this investigation until 5 o’clock like everyone else,” a spokesperson said. “He will respect the legal process and let it play out.”

FDLE agents went to Jones’ home to search her computer and other electronic devices.

According to an affidavit, investigators believe Jones illegally accessed a Department of Health emergency messaging system in November, asking employees to speak out and be a hero before more Floridians die of COVID-19.

Jones told CNN she did not send the message. Investigators say the IP address connected to the message can be traced back to Jones.

Jones made national headlines in May 2020 when she was fired from the Florida Department of Health.

She created the state’s COVID dashboard and claims she was fired because she would not publish manipulated data in support of re-opening the state.

The video she posted of the raid has now been viewed almost 8 million times and caught the attention of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who serves on the governor’s cabinet.

“Like most of you, I was shocked at what I saw,” the Commissioner tweeted. “Knowing that children were in the home, police should have exercised extreme caution. I’ve spoken with FDLE this evening to get to the bottom of this situation and understand the facts.”

Last night, a spokesperson for FDLE told CBS12 News they waited outside Jones’ home for 20 minutes and tried to reach her by phone, but she hung up. The FDLE statement claims “at no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the house.”

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