The Marion County Record in Marion, Kansas, released video of police raiding the home of the newspaper's 98-year-old co-owner, Joan Meyer, on the day before her death in August 2023.
In the video, recorded on Aug. 11, officers with the Marion Police Department can be seen searching through Meyer's belongings as she braces herself on a walker and attempts to call her son, Eric Meyer, who co-owns the Record.
"Don't you touch any of that stuff. This is my house," Meyer tells the officers.
Eric Meyer has since blamed stress from the raid for his mother's death on Aug. 12.
The video's description read as follows:
This is the last of 82 videos made available Aug. 21 of a police raid Aug. 11 on the home of 98-year-old Marion County Record co-owner Joan Meyer, who still contributed to the paper as a weekly columnist. It was recorded at 12:28 p.m., an hour and a half after officers first entered her home, and ends at the point at which police disconnected her network. It begins with her asking her Alexa smart speaker to call her son, Eric Meyer, whose phone already had been seized and can be heard ringing in police custody.
The police raids of both the newspaper's offices and Meyer's home have "brought international attention to the small town of 1,900," and may have violated the law, according to legal experts cited by The Associated Press:
A central Kansas police chief was not only on legally shaky ground when he ordered the raid of a weekly newspaper, experts said, but it may have been a criminal violation of civil rights, a former federal prosecutor added, saying: "I'd probably have the FBI starting to look."
Some legal experts believe the Aug. 11 raid on the Marion County Record's offices and the home of its publisher violated a federal privacy law that protects journalists from having their newsrooms searched. Some believe it violated a Kansas law that makes it more difficult to force reporters and editors to disclose their sources or unpublished material.
For more information about this matter, we refer readers to the reporting from the Marion County Record newspaper's website.