Police Raid of Local Newspaper Overturned Due to Insufficient Evidence

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The warrant that allowed law enforcement to raid a local paper has been withdrawn. The county prosecutor determined that the evidence used in obtaining the warrant was inadequate. The case ignited an uproar on the national scene, with many criticizing officers for violating freedom of the press.

The announcement was made Wednesday.

Joel Ensey, the Marion County Attorney, said on Wednesday that his review of police seizure reports from the Marion County Record office found “insufficient proof to establish a legal nexus” between the alleged crime in question and the locations searched and items seized.

“As a consequence, I submitted a proposal order asking the court for the release of the evidence confiscated,” Ensey stated in a press release that he had asked the local law enforcement agencies to return the materials seized to their owners.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation announced Monday that it is leading the investigation of the raid, and what may have allegedly caused it.

Marion County officers, sheriff’s deputy, and Marion County Record were searched on August 11, 2011. The officers seized computers, phones, and other items. The search is thought to be related to information provided to the local news outlet regarding a restaurant owner.

Eric Meyer, the co-owner, of the newspaper said that he would conduct a forensic audit to make sure law enforcement didn’t tamper with sensitive information.

He said, “You can’t let bullies win.” “A bully will eventually cross the line and become so offensive that others come to your side.”

The raid severely hindered the newspaper’s operation, as law enforcement confiscated important equipment that was used to produce its product. Joan Meyer, Eric’s mother, and co-owner, died the day following the raid. Eric blames law enforcement for this tragedy. Her son said that she was “stressed to her limit and overwhelmed with hours of shock and grievance” as a result of the raid.

Meyer believes that the investigation has to do with someone giving personal information about Kari Newell to a newspaper.

Newell accused the newspaper of using illegal methods to obtain information regarding a drunken driving conviction she had received. She said that the Marion County Record illegally used her credentials in order to obtain information that was available only to law enforcement agencies, private investigators, and insurance companies.

The newspaper acknowledged receiving a tip and tried to verify the information through public records. However, it decided not to publish a story about it. The Marion County Record reported on Newell’s comments at the council meeting where she confirmed that her DUI conviction was from 2008.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation stated in a press release that they would continue their criminal investigation of the events surrounding the raid on August 11 “without reviewing or examining any of the evidence confiscated”.

Meyer explained that he had also investigated Gideon Cody as the new police chief of the town. He was investigating allegations that he resigned “to avoid punishment and demotion over sexual misconduct accusations and other things.” The police had previously claimed that the raid on the paper was justified, and they said their actions were later vindicated.