TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Former Florida Department of Health Data-Scientist Rebekah Jones says she's ready to fight in court following a law enforcement raid at her home Monday morning.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents said it took 23 minutes for Jones to answer the door during a raid at her home Monday.
Jones says when officers came knocking, she was asleep in her bed.
"I woke up to banging on my front door. I tried to find some pants. I think I ended up wearing my husband's sweat pants," said Jones.
Before opening the door, she says she also knew she needed to start recording. Jones thought she would be arrested, and she wanted to make sure every moment was documented.
"I have been waiting six months for the governor to show up at my door and arrest me," said Jones.
A statement from the agency said:
"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."
A search affidavit said officers believe someone used Jones' IP address in the system to send a group text to more than 1700 people saying, "It's time 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."
FDLE officers took Jones' computer and phones to trace her online footprint.
Jones was fired from the Department of Health back in May after she said she refused to manipulate state COVID-19 data.
She said she had nothing to do with the message sent to current employees and also added the raid at her home was part of a bigger plan.
"I think coming here and shutting me down, shutting my project down and getting information about all the people who have spoken to me from within the state was two birds with one stone," said Jones.
She said the raid has impacted her children. Jones has an 11-year-old son and a 2-year-old. Jones said both children were at home during the raid, and she can tell that both are rattled over what happened.
"I mean it's a political shakedown and a way to try and shut me down. I've been battling with the governor now for six months since he had me fired from DOH and my son understands that. He's dealt with a lot of bullying at school because of that," said Jones.
She said right here, her main priorities are protecting her children, and continuing to work on putting data out into the public.
"No amount of intimidation is ever going to stop me from making sure the people in the state have the information they need to make informed decisions," said Jones.
ABC 27 reached out to the governor's office after Jones shared that video on Twitter. A spokesperson told us,
"The governor was not aware of any FDLE investigation into Rebekah Jones and only found out about the search warrant executed at her home when the public did after Jones tweeted video of the morning raid."
This is a developing story.