Police Raid on Kansas Newspaper Causes Outrage and First Amendment Concerns

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A police raid Friday on a local newspaper in Marion, Kansas, has ignited a firestorm of controversy. The raid, which involved the seizure of computers and records, garnered national attention.  And the paper claims it has led to the death of the newspaper’s co-owner. 

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The timing of the raid coincided with the passing of the 98-year-old co-owner of the newspaper, Joan Meyer. 

Advocates of the First Amendment are voicing their concerns over the incident, while news organizations and press groups have united in condemning the action. This unprecedented event has drawn attention to issues of free press, and legal boundaries.

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Police raid in a small town

In a small town about 60 miles north of Wichita, police conducted a raid on the Marion County Record. This family-owned weekly newspaper serves a community of about 2,000 residents. 

The raid was prompted by a dispute involving a local restaurant owner, Kari Newell, who accused the newspaper of obtaining and intending to publish damaging information about her past conviction for drunken driving.