After the paper’s investigative reporting caused a conflict with a local entrepreneur, the entire police force of a small Kansas town conducted a raid on the local newspaper office and residence of the publisher, taking devices and documents.
On Friday, police searched the house of Joan Meyer and her son Eric Meyer, who jointly owned the Marion County Record, as well as a local newspaper office.
The Record stated Sunday that Joan Meyer, 98, passed away on Saturday at their home after becoming overextended by hours of shock and grief following [the] unauthorized police raid on the local newspaper office.
Before the raid, Joan Meyer had generally good health for her age, according to the newspaper.
According to The Kansas Reflector, everything was taken, including laptops, phones, bank account information, and reporting documents in the local newspaper office by the entire five-officer police force of the city and two sheriff’s deputies.
Meyer said he had never heard of a newspaper office being raided throughout his 26 years of teaching journalism at the University of Illinois and his 20 years of employment at the Milwaukee Journal.
The warrant was signed by Marion County District Court Magistrate Judge Laura Viar. However, federal law mandates that instead of obtaining data from the local newspaper office through a search warrant, law enforcement must subpoena materials from journalists.
The local newspaper office raid in Kansas, according to Emily Bradbury, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, is unprecedented.
Meyer revealed this week that Kari Newell, the proprietor of a restaurant in Marion, had expelled journalists from a public event with LaTurner, whose staff had expressed regret.
According to an article by The Kansas Reflector, a secret source got in touch with the publication and gave proof that Newell had been found guilty of drunk driving and was still operating a vehicle without a license.
Her chances of getting a liquor license for her catering company could be in jeopardy because of the criminal record, in accordance to the reports of Eric Meyer, owner local newspaper office.
A Marion Record reporter checked the accuracy of the source’s information using a state website. Meyer, though, had a hunch that the source was only repeating information from Newell’s divorcing husband. Meyer informed the authorities about the scenario and made the decision not to write a piece about the information.
A Marion Record reporter checked the accuracy of the source’s information using a state website. Meyer, though, had a hunch that the source was only repeating information from Newell’s divorcing husband.
Earlier than 11 a.m. Officers arrived at Meyer’s house and the local newspaper office simultaneously on Friday. They displayed a search warrant that makes accusations of identity theft and improper computer use.
Law enforcement officials were given authorization to seize a number of items listed on two pages of the search warrant, including computer hardware and software, digital communications, cellular networks, servers, hard drives, password-protected items, utility records, and all documents and records from the said local newspaper office relating to Newell.
The search warrant focused primarily on anyone with access to computers in the local newspaper office that may be used to help Kari Newell steal her identity.
When these records were seized during the mentioned police raid on a local newspaper office in Kansas that is also the publisher’s residence, raising serious questions about press freedom and the defense of journalists’ rights.