98-Year-Old Mother of Kansas Newspaper Editor Confronts Police During Raid: Video Released

by Andrew Wright

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A video made public reveals the agitated confrontation between the 98-year-old mother of a Kansas newspaper editor and police officers as they conducted a search of her residence. Joan Meyer’s shouts of “Get out of my house!” during the raid have become the focal point of national attention.

The video was released on Monday by the newspaper and captured Joan Meyer expressing her indignation at the six officers inside her Marion, Kansas home. Assisted by a walker, wearing a robe or gown and slippers, her distress is apparent.

“Leave my house … I do not want you here!” she exclaimed. “Do not touch anything! This is my home!” she declared at another point.

The Aug. 11 raids, which included the newspaper’s office, the Meyer family’s residences, and the house of a City Council member, were prompted by allegations from a local restaurant owner against the newspaper. The owner accused them of illegal access to her information. Tragically, Joan Meyer passed away the day after the raid, and her son believes that the stress was a contributing factor.


  • Kansas paper is accused of illegal activities by the police; the newspaper refutes the claim.
  • State agency declares the initial online search leading to a Kansas paper’s raid as lawful.
  • Experts question the legality of the raid on a Kansas newspaper; the specific law violated remains unclear.

The prosecutor eventually stated that there was not enough evidence to validate the raids. Some confiscated items, such as computers and phones, have been returned. Furthermore, the initial online search cited by the police chief as a basis for the raid was legal, according to a spokesperson for the site’s maintaining agency.

The raid has thrust the Record newspaper and Marion, a town of approximately 1,900 inhabitants, into a broader discussion regarding First Amendment rights and local politics. It has also put Police Chief Gideon Cody under the spotlight after he led the raids following the newspaper’s inquiries about his background.

At a recent City Council meeting, Marion resident Darvin Markley called for Chief Cody’s dismissal, saying, “The man needs to go. He needs to be fired.”

Cody did not respond to inquiries for comment but had previously stated in affidavits that he had reasonable grounds to suspect identity theft or computer crimes.

The situation involves both the newspaper and City Council member Ruth Herbel, who, along with the police chief, have conflicting accounts regarding access to a woman’s license information. The legality of their actions is at the center of the dispute.

During the first City Council meeting since the raids, Vice Mayor Herbel announced that the topic would not be discussed but would be addressed in a future meeting.

Opinions vary, with some calling for Cody’s resignation and others urging restraint in judgment.

The newspaper’s editor, Eric Meyer, intends to file a lawsuit over the raid, and he has highlighted the seizure of items from a reporter not involved in the restaurant dispute but who had been investigating why Cody left his previous job.

Some legal experts argue that the raid violated federal or state laws that protect journalists, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation continues to probe the matter.

Contributors to this report include Salter, reporting from O’Fallon, Missouri, and Heather Hollingsworth, a writer for Big Big News in Mission, Kansas.

The Big Big News is funded by various private foundations to augment its coverage of elections and democracy. The AP maintains full responsibility for all content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about raid

What is the main incident depicted in the video?

The video shows the 98-year-old mother of a Kansas newspaper editor confronting police officers during a raid on her home, demanding that they leave.

Who conducted the raid and why?

The raid was conducted by the police, led by Police Chief Gideon Cody. It was part of an investigation into allegations that the newspaper illegally accessed information about a local restaurant owner.

What were the consequences of the raid?

The raid has sparked a national debate on press freedoms and First Amendment rights. It also exposed divisions in the town over local politics. Some legal experts believe the raid may have violated laws protecting journalists. Joan Meyer, who confronted the police, died a day after the raid, and her son believes the stress contributed to her death.

What is the newspaper’s response to the raid?

The newspaper’s editor, Eric Meyer, plans to file a lawsuit over the raid. Both the newspaper and City Council member Ruth Herbel, whose home was also raided, have denied any wrongdoing.

Has there been any legal resolution to the situation?

A prosecutor later said there was insufficient evidence to justify the raids, and some of the seized items have been returned. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation continues to examine the newspaper’s actions. Meanwhile, legal experts are debating whether the raid violated federal privacy law or state law protecting journalists.

What impact did the raid have on the community?

The incident has placed the town of Marion, Kansas, in the center of a debate about press freedoms and the First Amendment. It exposed divisions over local politics and the newspaper’s coverage, intensifying the spotlight on Police Chief Gideon Cody. Some community members are calling for Cody’s resignation or dismissal.

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Sara K August 22, 2023 - 5:41 pm

What has journalism come to if they are raided by the police? This needs proper investigaton. What’s the world coming to.

Vicky_H August 22, 2023 - 7:23 pm

Press freedom is at stake here and it’s really terrifying. we must support the newspaper and stand against injustice like this.

James T August 22, 2023 - 8:14 pm

can’t believe what’s happening in this town, police going into a 98 year old’s house like that? something needs to be done.

HenryG August 22, 2023 - 10:29 pm

This is a clear violation of press freedom if u ask me, the authorities must investigate this properly. Very concerning!

DerekF August 23, 2023 - 11:33 am

Police Chief needs to go!! If theres no evidence why were they raided. So sad to hear about the lady’s death too 🙁

Marilyn P August 23, 2023 - 1:05 pm

That poor old lady! My heart breaks for her and her family. why is this even legal. our rights are being trampled.


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