Police chief who led raid of small Kansas newspaper placed on suspension

Police chief who led raid of small Kansas newspaper placed on suspension

The police chief who led a extremely criticized raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended, the mayor confirmed to the Related Press this weekend.

Marion mayor Dave Mayfield in a textual content mentioned he suspended chief Gideon Cody on Thursday. He declined to debate his determination additional and didn’t say whether or not Cody was nonetheless being paid.

Voice messages and emails from the AP in search of remark from Cody’s attorneys weren’t instantly returned Saturday, when Mayfield confirmed the chief’s suspension.

The 11 August searches of the Marion County File’s workplace and the properties of its writer and a metropolis council member have been sharply criticized, placing Marion on the heart of a debate over the press protections provided by the free press rights enshrined within the US structure’s first modification.

Cody’s suspension is a reversal for the mayor, who beforehand mentioned he would watch for outcomes from a state police investigation earlier than taking motion.

Vice-mayor Ruth Herbel, whose dwelling was additionally raided on 11 August, praised Cody’s suspension as “the very best factor that may occur to Marion proper now” whereas the central Kansas city of about 1,900 individuals struggles to maneuver ahead below the nationwide highlight.

“We are able to’t duck our heads till it goes away, as a result of it’s not going to go away till we do one thing about it,” Herbel mentioned.

Cody has mentioned little publicly because the raids aside from posting a protection of them on the police division’s Fb web page. In court docket paperwork he filed to get the search warrants, he argued that he had possible trigger to imagine the newspaper and Herbel, whose dwelling was additionally raided, had violated state legal guidelines in opposition to id theft or laptop crimes.

The raids got here after a neighborhood restaurant proprietor accused the newspaper of illegally accessing details about her. A spokesperson for the company that maintains these data has mentioned the newspaper’s on-line search {that a} reporter did was seemingly authorized although the reporter wanted private details about the restaurant proprietor {that a} tipster offered to search for her driving file.

The newspaper’s writer Eric Meyer has mentioned the id theft allegations merely offered a handy excuse for the search after his reporters had been digging for background data on Cody, who was appointed this summer time.

Authorized consultants imagine the raid on the newspaper violated a federal privateness legislation or a state legislation shielding journalists from having to determine sources or flip over unpublished materials to legislation enforcement.

Video of the raid on the house of writer Eric Meyer exhibits how distraught his 98-year-old mom turned as officers searched by way of their belongings. Meyer mentioned he believes that stress contributed to the loss of life of his mom, Joan Meyer, a day later.

One other reporter final month filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to the police chief over the raid.

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