“Newspaper Raided By Police” is a headline one might expect to read in a microfiche file when researching Nazi outrages in 1930’s Germany, or maybe in the current coverage of a troubled and collapsing African Republic.
One would not expect reading about about such a thing happening in today’s Kansas, to it’s oldest newspaper, and in direct violation of Federal law.
Yet here we are.
The raid resulted after a complaint from a Marion county restauranteur to the local police Chief averting that the paper had obtained information about her previous DUI arrest from her ex-husband, and was conspiring with her disenchanted spouse to undermine her business by preventing her from obtaining a liquor license.
Even if this were true, which it is not, Police have no right in America to raid a Newspaper office and seize computers and other equipment essential to its operation.
Federal law specifically prohibits such outrages and outlines that the cops must work through the courts and subpoena such materials as they might desire to further an investigation.
Almost undoubtedly as a result of the police raid on the paper, and also her home, the 98 year old co-owner of The Marion Record collapsed and died the following day.
The Independent UK has the story:
“The entire five-member police department of a small town in Kansas raided the office of a local newspaper and the home of its publisher, seizing computers, cell phones and other reporting materials and effectively shutting down publication.
The weekly newspaper’s 98-year-old co-owner – apparently overwhelmed by the incident – collapsed and died the following day, according to the Marion County Record.
Publisher Eric Meyer said the Marion Police Department’s raid on 11 August took “everything we have…
The raid followed a series of stories about a restaurant owner who kicked reporters out of a meeting with Republican US Rep Jake LaTurner. A source had contacted the newspaper about the restaurant owner’s drunken driving record, and reporters sought to verify the information through government records. Mr Meyer ultimately decided against publishing anything.
But the restaurant owner, Kari Newell, falsely claimed during a city council meeting that the newspaper had illegally obtained sensitive documents about her, which prompted the newspaper to publish a story that set the record straight.
The newspaper was also actively investigating Gideon Cody, Marion’s chief of police, following allegations that he had retired from a previous job to avoid punishment over accusations of sexual misconduct.“
Ah, so there is the beef.
Kari Newell had banished the newspaper’s reporters form a public meeting she was hosting for Trump loving Kansas Republican Jake LaTurner who voted in Congress against certifying Arizona’s electors on January 6th, 2021.
The Record’s reporters may have inconveniently asked the election denier something about that, prompting their ouster.
But would Chief Cody have authorized and staged an illegal raid of the paper and seized their IT resources to avenge a perceived slight of a local business owner and MAGAed up Congress critter, or was he more interested in finding out what information the Record had on his past sexual improprieties?
This is a developing story and I eagerly await answers to that question as well the response of The United States Justice Department.
Unfortunately 98 year old Joan Meyer will not be hear to hear either.