The actions of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents have been vilified over the past few days regarding the legal search warrant executed at the residence of Ms. Rebekah Jones. Because of inaccurate and incomplete statements given by certain individuals, the body camera video taken from outside the home is being made available. FDLE is comfortable with the release of this video because it will not interfere with the cybercrime investigation.
Commissioner Swearingen stated, “This video demonstrates that FDLE agents exercised extreme patience. Search warrants are one of the most dangerous events a law enforcement officer will engage in and many officers are killed each year during the execution of search warrants. No search warrant is routine or without potential officer safety issues regardless of the underlying crime.Agents afforded Ms. Jones ample time to come to the door and resolve this matter in a civil and professional manner. As this video will demonstrate, any risk or danger to Ms. Jones or her family was the result of her actions.
“I am proud of the way these FDLE agents performed. I can only hope those same individuals who criticized these public safety heroes will now apologize and condemn the actions of Ms. Jones. The media should also demand Ms. Jones release the entirety of the video she recorded while agents were present in her home.”
The body camera video starts at 8:25 a.m., when a female Tallahassee Police Department officer and male FDLE agent approach the door. At 8:26, they began ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. During the initial approach, agents tried to minimize disruption to the children, attempting to speak with Ms. Jones at the door to explain the search warrant. At approximately 8:31, agents went to the back of the house and saw Ms. Jones’ husband going upstairs. The situation continued for 23 minutes without cooperation of Ms. Jones, including several phone calls to her.
Upon entry into Ms. Jones’ residence, agents observed a video camera, pointed in the direction of the front door, which appeared to be recording the entire time the agents were inside the residence. The video, property of Ms. Jones, was not seized during the search warrant. Electronic devices belonging to Ms. Jones’s children and husband were forensically examined on scene and determined to have no investigative value. Those devices were not seized in an effort to minimize disruption to the family.
A link to the first part of the video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/489556079
A link to the second part of the video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/489554493
The video has been redacted in accordance with the following state and federal laws:
Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. ss. 2721 et seq (DPPA);
s. 119.071(4)(d)2.a., F.S. Home addresses, home telephone numbers, photographs, date of birth, social security number, spouse/child’s place of employment of current or former law sworn or civilian enforcement personnel;
s. 119.07(2)(b), F.S. Passwords; the custodian of public records shall provide safeguards to protect the contents of public records from unauthorized remote electronic access or alteration;
ss. 119.0712(2)(a)-(b), F.S. Personal information contained in a motor vehicle record including highly restricted personal information as defined in 18 U.S.C. s. 2725, contained in a motor vehicle record is confidential pursuant to the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. ss. 2721 et seq.;
s. 119.071(2)(l)2.a., F.S. Body camera recording, or a portion thereof, is confidential and exempt if the recording is taken within the interior of a private residence;
s. 119.071(2)(d), F.S. Any information revealing surveillance techniques or procedures or personnel is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution;
s. 119.071(2)(c)1., F.S. Active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt from s. 119.07(1)and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
Timestamps are in UTC and are 5 hours ahead of EST.
Other than redactions, the video has not been edited. Please note the camera shuts off briefly at 8:32:55 and starts again at 8:32:56although there is no audio for approximately 20 seconds as the camera restarts. Due to this one-second interruption, the video is split into two files.