The police chief who led a raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended

The police chief in Marion, Kansas, who carried out a controversial raid on a local newspaper, has been suspended by the Mayor.

Initial Incident: The newspaper raid, led by Chief Gideon Cody on August 11, stirred a nationwide debate on press protections.
* The Marion County Record’s office and the homes of its publisher and a City Council member were searched.
* These events placed the small town of Marion at the center of conversations regarding First Amendment rights.

Reactions: Mayor Dave Mayfield confirmed the suspension of Chief Cody to The Associated Press, although he opted not to discuss the matter further.
* Previously, the mayor had said that he would wait for the results from a state police investigation before taking any action.
* Vice-Mayor Ruth Herbel, who also had her home raided, described the suspension as “the best thing that can happen to Marion right now.”

Background: The police action was initially explained as a step towards investigating accusations of a local restaurant owner who alleged that the newspaper had illegally accessed her personal information.
* In obtaining the search warrants, Cody argued that he had probable cause to believe violations of state laws against identity theft or computer crimes.
* The newspaper’s publisher, Eric Meyer, suggested that the allegations gave a convenient reason for the search, coinciding with reporters investigating Chief Cody’s background.

Consequences: The raid had significant impacts, both personal and legal.
* Publisher Eric Meyer believes the stress of the police action contributed to the death of his elderly mother, Joan Meyer, the day after the incident.
* A reporter filed a federal lawsuit against the police chief over the raid last month.

View original article on NPR

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