‘Insufficient Evidence’: Kansas Prosecutor Withdraws Warrant Used by Police Who Raided Local Newspaper


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The warrant allowing law enforcement officers to raid a local newspaper has been withdrawn. The county prosecutor found that the evidence used to obtain the warrant was not sufficient. The case ignited a firestorm on the national stage, with many criticizing the officers for infringing on the freedom of the press.

The announcement was made on Wednesday:

On Wednesday, Marion County Attorney Joel Ensey said his review of police seizures from the Marion County Record offices found “insufficient evidence exists to establish a legally sufficient nexus between this alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized.”

“As a result, I have submitted a proposed order asking the court to release the evidence seized. I have asked local law enforcement to return the material seized to the owners of the property,” Ensey said in a news release.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Monday it was leading the investigation into the raid and what allegedly prompted it.

The raid occurred on August 11 when Marion County officers and sheriff’s deputies searched the Marion County Record. Officers seized phones, computers, and other equipment. It is believed that the search was related to information given to the news outlet about a local restaurant owner.

Eric Meyer, co-owner of the newspaper, said he would have the equipment forensically audited to ensure that law enforcement did not tamper with any sensitive information.

“You cannot let bullies win,” he said. “And eventually, a bully will cross a line to the point that it becomes so egregious that other people come around and support you.”

The newspaper’s operations were severely hampered by the raid since law enforcement seized important equipment used to publish its product. Joan Meyer, co-owner of the outlet and Eric’s mother, passed away the day after the raid, a tragedy that Eric blames on the actions of law enforcement. Her son indicated that the ordeal caused her to be “stressed beyond her limits and overwhelmed by hours of shock and grief.”

In the search warrant, police indicated they were searching for evidence of “identity theft.” Meyer believes the investigation is related to someone leaking personal information to the newspaper regarding Kari Newell, owner of a local coffee shop:

Newell had accused the newspaper at a recent City Council meeting of having used illegal means to get information about a drunk driving conviction against her. She told CNN that the Marion County Record unlawfully used her credentials to get information that was only available to law enforcement, private investigators, and insurance agencies.

The paper has acknowledged that it received a tip and attempted to verify it through public records before deciding not to run a story on the information. The Marion County Record published the story about Newell’s statement at the council meeting, where she confirmed her DUI conviction in 2008.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that it would continue a criminal investigation into the events surrounding the raid “without review or examination of any of the evidence seized” on Aug. 11.

Meyer also explained that his news outlet had also been investigating Gideon Cody, the town’s new police chief. He was looking into allegations that he had resigned from his previous position “to avoid demotion and punishment over sexual misconduct charges and other things.” Law enforcement previously contended that their raid on the newspaper was justified and said their actions would later be vindicated.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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