Raided Marion County newspaper claims raid contributed to death of editor and promises lawsuit

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:55 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MARION, COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - 98-year-old Joan Meyer collapsed and died in her home Saturday. The newspaper she co-owned is reporting a police raid the day before may have played a role in her death.

“Illegal raids contribute to death of newspaper co-owner” is the new headline for the Marion County Record.

The online article reported Meyer was stressed following Friday’s raid and that she could not eat and sleep following the raid. It said she was in good shape for her age prior to the event.

The newspaper promises to file suit against the city referring to the raid as something reminiscent of a totalitarian regime in the Third World.

“The Record is expected to file a federal suit against the City of Marion and those involved in the search.”

The raid has made national and international news. It has been widely condemned by First Amendment advocates. Here’s an in-depth look at our prior coverage.

Eric Meyer, the editor and publisher of the Marion County Record, stands in front of his...
Eric Meyer, the editor and publisher of the Marion County Record, stands in front of his newspaper's building. His newsroom and home were raided on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, in Marion, Kan., as officers seized computers and cell phones and took photos of Meyer's personal financial records.(KCTV5)

The Marion County Record also blasts the police chief. Chief Gideon Cody is a former KCPD police captain who participated in the raid according to the latest article.

“Marion police chief Giden Cody forcibly grabbed reporter Deb Gruver’s personal cell phone out of her hand, re-injuring one of her fingers which previously had been dislocated,” read the report in the paper.

KCTV5 reached out to Chief Cody for comment and was referred to the KBI.

A recent Facebook post from Chief Cody comments on the raid:

As much as I would like to give everyone details on a criminal investigation I cannot. I believe when the rest of the story is available to the public, the judicial system that is being questioned will be vindicated.

The post has been shared close to a hundred times with thousands of comments.

Who’s the new Chief?

Chief Gideon Cody is the new Marion Police Chief. He comes from KCPD where he served 24 years and rose to the level of captain.

He made a salary of $115,000. He now makes $60,000 as the Chief.

Eric Meyer says he was involved in ongoing reporting regarding the move but never published an article.

Chief Gideon did not respond to a request for comment. He has previously stated he likes small towns and has friends in Marion.

Meyer questions if the raid was really about paperwork related to a DUI pointing out the document police were supposedly looking for was left behind.

“The note, the letter, the document itself was sitting right here on this desk when they raided the newsroom. They took that computer. They didn’t take it,” points out Meyer. “Is that the real purpose of this raid?”