Florida agents raid home of fired public health agent who refused to manipulate COVID data

Rebekah Jones was fired for refusing to manipulate COVID data, so she built a database out of her home. A search warrant was issued, and her house was raided at gunpoint and her equipment seized, like she was distributing child pornography or something.

I seem to remember things like this happening in the early chapters of “The Stand”, although in that story, anyone who openly questioned the status quo was executed. This is still seriously scary.

Florida and reality have long had a very tempestuous relationship. In fact, I’m pretty sure the two are divorced now. Another example:

Reading the article it sounds like its a bit more complicated than that. It sounds like she somehow had/got the password to the Emergency messaging system and used it to try to spread her message about the under reporting of Covid. I doubt that she actually hacked the system, its much more probable that she either had the password from her job or else got it from someone she knew from her job who had it. But even if she was right abut the cover up of the Covid data, that is not proper use of the emergency system. So it may not have been just because she was reporting numbers that the Governor didn’t like.

The whole affair needs to be investigated from top to bottom including her allegations of misrepresented numbers, her possible misuse of the emergency alert system, and any targeting of the investigation at her by political appointees.

That’s what the warrant said. Given that the Governor and the Republicans are involved, I am dubious.

Yeah, I haven’t heard anyone claim that she actually posted a mass email/phone call/text to the state, or anything. (however the message system works.) And… you’d think that would be obvious and the newspapers would have noticed.


According to the affidavit by an investigator with the department, an unauthorized individual illegally accessed a state government emergency management system to send a group text message to government officials last month urging them to speak out about the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead,” the message said, according to the affidavit. “You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late.”

Officials traced the message, which was sent on the afternoon of November 10 to about 1,750 recipients, to an IP address connected to Jones’ house, the investigator wrote in the affidavit.

Jones told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday night that she didn’t send the message.

“I’m not a hacker,” Jones said. She added that the language in the message that authorities said was sent was “not the way I talk,” and contained errors she would not make.

“The number of deaths that the person used wasn’t even right,” Jones said. “They were actually under by about 430 deaths. I would never round down 430 deaths.”

Even if she’d done all this, going into her house with guns drawn is egregious.

I use that app very frequently. It’s a real shame what happened to that lady and her family. I’m not surprised though.

I noticed this gem:

“All authorized users use the same user name and password.”

I’m pretty sure that the fact this made it into the article means either a) every user shares the same credentials as every other users, which is extremely stupid, or b) the authorities found out that Mrs. Jones’s credentials were used after she was let go, which also indicates negligence because her account should have been deactivated.


Or malice.

Or malice.


Let’s be real, they won’t bring charges, they won’t return confiscated property, and the media will move on.


Just note, she let the authorities into her home, 20 minutes after they arrived. The only time they drew guns were when they pointed them up the stairs and asked her husband to show himself, and there’s no evidence they actually pointed guns at anyone.

Her claims that her house was raided and guns pointed at her and her kids are unfounded. When asked if she had proof that they were pointing guns at her family, she insists the video proves it because they were at the top of the stairs when the guns were pointed. Of course, you can’t actually see her family in the video at that point.

If this is her idea of evidence then I have to doubt a lot of the rest of her claims. When the right does this they are rightly criticized. You shouldn’t give credit to one person’s extraordinary claims without evidence just because she’s on the other side.

I went into this prejudiced too, immediately believing a person claiming a major coverup by Florida authorities. Because Florida, right? Everything seemed credible at first. Not so fast.

And this is an example of what has gone wrong in US law enforcement. Why were guns drawn and pointed? Was there any reason to suspect the husband of being a threat? 5 will get you 10 that they had their fingers on the triggers and if the husband had made some sort of threatening move (like adjusting his pants) (odds increase as his skin tone darkens) one of them would have fired.

So police in the United States can just draw their guns when enforcing a search warrant in a house, when the basis for the search warrant does not involve any allegations of violence, firearms, or personal danger to anyone?

A statement by a witness is evidence. Courts base convictions and acquittals on witness statements every day. It doesn’t have to be on video to be evidence.

If you think that a statement by the target of a search isn’t evidence, then I hope you apply the same standard to statements by the police who executed the warrant, and say that their disclaimers aren’t evidence either.

So you’ve already decided her credibility based on news media accounts. Hope you’re never on a jury.

The point is that, guns out or not, this was an insanely huge over reaction to someone posting covid stats on the internet.

You’re in Canada, right? Yes, police having their guns out while enforcing a search warrant, at least while entering the premises, is normal. In fact it’s common for them to at least have their hand on their gun, even if it’s still holstered during a routine traffic stop.
If you’re in the states and see someone get pulled over, watch the cop as they initially approach the vehicle. They’ll nearly always have a hand on their (holstered) gun and won’t hesitate to remove it from the holster if they have any concerns whatsoever.

I, as a mild mannered, un-intimidating teen (way back when) had a few encounters with police when I’d be at work well after hours and I’d always notice they had a hand on their gun while talking to me. At least until they established who I was and that I was okay to be there in the middle of the night.

It’s part of the whole gun control issue. Cops approach a lot of situations as if they could very quickly become very dangerous. At the same time, they can very quickly become very dangerous because the bad guys also have guns for, more or less, the same reason (but from their POV).
As we’ve seen, time and time again, this has the (not so un) intended result of innocent or at least unarmed people getting shot by cops that are some combination of trigger happy and/or scared.

No, it’s the fact that she claims the video shows what it doesn’t. I think you’d hope a jury decides based on evidence presented, not a predetermined bias. (A bias I admittedly share.)

Oh this is true. Even though the video doesn’t show a “raid” (they didn’t force their way in or take her by surprise, they didn’t operate at gunpoint) that was a disproportionate amount of tactical gear and people sent for a warrant about a nonviolent crime. I haven’t read that she was making death threats or had claimed to be stockpiling an arsenal. I don’t know why they’d send such a group unless it was meant to be intimidating.

It was meant to be intimidating.
She, from what I understand, used her own, still working, credentials of her former place of employment (the government) to get covid stats and post them to her own website. Those stats, if I had to guess, are likely meant to be available to the public anyway.
If any one of us was fired and then over the next few weeks continued to log in to the work network, download data and post it to the internet, this is not the response we’d get. You’d, maybe, get yourself arrested, but I think you’d be much more likely to find yourself the defendant in a civil case. There may be a case of corporate espionage or cyber spying to be made, but this was still an over reaction.
And, keep in mind, she was fired for refusing to manipulate the data before posting it. After getting fired, she continued to post the unmanipulated data. That’s likely the real issue.