(ConservativeHub.com) – On Friday, August 11, the Marion police raided the newsroom of a local newspaper as well as its publisher’s home to seize phones, computers, and other reporting-related materials. According to reports, the situation has led to concerns that this move by police was in violation of press freedom in the US.
During the raid, the Marion County Record’s file server, cell phones, computers, and other equipment were removed from the offices of the newspaper. Officers also reportedly injured a reporter, and a day after the search of the publisher, Eric Meyer’s, home, his 98-year-old mother and co-owner of the publication passed away.
Laura Viar, the Marion County District Court Magistrate Judge, signed the search warrant over the alleged violations which included identity theft and other unlawful acts connected to computers. The Police were also granted the authorization to look through the devices that had been used to access the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website and records. They also took any documents related to restaurant owner Kari Newell who, accused the publication of illegally seeking information about her.
The newspaper has maintained that the allegations against them are false.
Under the federal Privacy Protection Act, law enforcement is prohibited from searching through most newsrooms, and a special subpoena is often required for such searches to take place. However, the police department said that this was not the case as in this incident, someone is suspected of having committed criminal wrongdoings.
Meyer, the co-owner of the newspaper, claimed that he originally thought the publication had been “set up,” according to reports.
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