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Police Raid Home of Data Scientist Who Blew Whistle on Florida COVID-19 Reporting

HeadlineDec 08, 2020

In Florida, armed police raided the home of Rebekah Jones on Monday. She is the data scientist who was forced to resign in May as the lead software developer for Florida’s coronavirus data portal after she refused to censor information about Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak. Police seized her computers and pointed guns at her children. Jones posted video of the raid on Twitter.

Police officer 1: “Police! Come down now!”

Police officer 2: “Search warrant!”

Rebekah Jones: “Do not point that” —

Police officer 1: “Bring your children!”

Police officer 2: “Come down the stairs!”

Rebekah Jones: — “gun at my children! He just pointed a gun at my children!”

Rebekah Jones accused Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis of sending the Gestapo after her. She wrote on Twitter, “This is what happens to scientists who do their job honestly. This is what happens to people who speak truth to power.” Florida authorities said the raid was part of a probe into a recent hack of the Florida Health Department’s website, but Jones said she hasn’t had access to the site in six months.

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