Marion County Record newspaper sues Kansas police over unprecedented raid

A Kansas weekly newspaper that suffered an unprecedented police raid over the summer filed a federal lawsuit Monday against local officials, saying “co-conspirators” are seeking revenge and the publisher’s 98-year-old mother accused of causing death.

The Marion County Record reported that the city of Marion, the Marion County Commission and five current and former local officials were arrested on Aug. 11 when police stormed the newspaper’s offices and seized a large amount of materials. It was claimed that the right to freedom had been violated.

Former Mayor David Mayfield ordered the closure of newspapers and businesses of his political opponents after labeling journalists as “America’s true villains,” according to one report. The 137-page complaint.

Eric Meyer claims the attack contributed to the death of his 98-year-old mother. Mark Reinstein/Shutterstock

“The last thing we want is to bankrupt our cities and counties, but we have a duty to our democracy and to countless news organizations and citizens across the country that respect the First Amendment and the We have a duty to challenge such egregious and unreasonable violations of Section 4 and federal laws restricting newsroom searches,” said Eric Meyer, publisher and editor of the Marion County Record. Told.

“If we win, we will donate punitive damages to community projects and causes that support our cherished traditions of freedom.”

The paper alleges that politicians and law enforcement used local restaurateur Kari Newell’s complaint that a Marion County Record reporter illegally obtained her DUI record as a pretext to attack the paper. There is.

Former police chief Gideon Cody, who later resigned following a national outcry, accused the paper and its reporters of committing identity theft and other computer crimes while obtaining and verifying information about local business owners’ driving records. They justified the search by saying they had sufficient reason to believe that the suspect may have committed the crime.

Joan Meyer said she told former Police Chief Gideon Cody during the raid, “It’s going to be a big deal.” Marion County Records

Law enforcement searched the Marion County Recorder’s Office and the housing publisher Meyer shared with his 98-year-old mother, Joanne Meyer. Her mother died just 24 hours later from a stress-induced heart attack, the lawsuit says.

Meyer, a veteran newswoman herself, reportedly told Cody, “Hey, you’re going to be in trouble.”

“My job is to make sure Joan’s promise is kept,” Barney Rose, the newspaper’s attorney, said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges that Joan Meyer died just 24 hours later from a stress-related heart attack. AP

Another investigator involved in the raid, Marion County Sheriff Jeff Soyes, also consistently said he did not approve of Meyer’s “passivity,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit, filed by Meyer and the parent company of Marion County Record, seeks justice for “unacceptable” violations of constitutional rights and “stops the next deranged cop from threatening our democracy.” It is said that he was woken up by

This is the fourth lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas over the raid.

Law enforcement justified the raid by claiming they had probable cause to believe the newspaper publisher and reporter may have committed identity theft. AP

The first lawsuit was filed by former reporter Deb Gruber just three weeks after the arrest. Court reporter Phyllis Zorn filed a second lawsuit in February, followed by newspaper manager Cheri Benz.

The lawsuit does not include specific figures for potential damages. But in a separate notice to local authorities, the paper and its publisher said they believed they were owed more than $10 million.

The notice also states that Meyer and her mother suffered “extreme and severe suffering,” for which their estate is entitled to seek $4 million in damages. It also argues that the newspaper should pay $2 million in damages and that punitive damages should exceed $4 million.

with post wire