Op-Ed Letter: Charles Byrd
I’m watching news stations and the internet light up over the raid that took place in the search warrant issued for whistleblower Rebekah Jones. Yes, this is a political topic, because some say that Florida’s Governor hid COVID data or fudged numbers in the state, for political reasons. Mrs. Jones claims that the Governor wanted her to manipulate COVID-19 data, which she wouldn’t agree to do. I’m not writing about that. If this occurred and Mrs. Jones is correct, then let it play out in the courts and the public arena.
I’m more interested in the crazed backlash that has befallen the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and what exactly happened during and after the raid.
FDLE Said, “Regarding the warrant served this morning at the residence of Rebekah Jones, former Department of Health employee, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen provides this statement.”
“Our investigation began last month following a complaint by Florida Department of Health that a person illegally hacked into their emergency alert system. As part of our investigation, FDLE agents served a search warrant this morning at the Centerville Court residence where Ms. Jones lives after determining the home was the location that the unauthorized message was sent from.
Agents knocked and called Ms. Jones both announcing the search warrant and encouraging her to cooperate. Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung-up on agents.
After several attempts, Ms. Jones allowed agents inside. Agents entered the home in accordance with normal protocols and seized several devices that will be forensically analyzed. At no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home. Any evidence will be referred to the State Attorney for prosecution as appropriate.”
Ok, agents knocked for 20-minutes. Yes, they may be a little irritated after trying to serve a search warrant and knowing that people were home, and not opening the door. Most of the people reading this get pissed off in line at Walmart if the credit card machine doesn’t take the person’s credit card the first 10-times. But did they point guns at anyone? The video is edited down so you cant see the claims of Mrs. Jones.
So, what was happening during that 20-minute period before Mrs. Jones answered the door?
- Her family was being moved upstairs and out of sight?
- A camera was being set up in a very odd place, maybe a kitchen table, to point at the door?
What happened during the ‘Raid’?
- No one pointed a gun at Mrs. Jones, at least from what the video shows.
- Mrs. Jones is yelling things like, “He pointed a gun at my kids”, what kids? I only see an empty stairwell. I would ask Mrs. Jones to show the video in its entirety, and not edited down. If the kids are coming down the stairs and they have guns pointed at that, let all hell break loose. But FDLE claims that didn’t happen, and the video released/edited doesn’t show it either.
What happened after the Raid?
- Mrs. Jones sets up a gofundme and raises $156,000 with a goal of $150,000.
- One day later, Mrs. Jones raises her goal to $1,000,000 and now has accumulated $188,488. She’s brilliant! There is no doubt.
- People rushed to judgment, including high ranking people like Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner. Because of an edited down video?
Whistleblowers are important, in my opinion; look at Ed Snowden; if not for him, the CIA may still be looking at our webcams and reading every text message you send. Maybe they still are, but regardless, this is not an Ed Snowden situation. In fact, without the full video or bodycam video from the cops themselves, this is he-said-she-said bullshit. Release the videos in their entirety. Snowden presented facts, and all of them.
Or a better thought, defund all police and put it back into the hands of the people. Half of these cops are ready to walk from their jobs anyway. The FDLE agents appeared to be doing their job in this video, and you sure as hell can’t expect them to walk in with their hands tied behind their backs, hoping that everyone is a law-abiding citizen in a home they have never been in. Just defund the whole damn thing and see what happens.