Law Enforcement /

New Video Shows Police Raiding the Home of 98-Year-Old Kansas Newspaper Owner

Joan Meyer died the following day

Newly released footage shows the Marion County Record’s late co-owner’s confrontation with police officers as they raided her Kansas home.

Joan Meyer died the next day. Her son, the newspaper’s other co-owner Eric Meyer, has alleged the Aug. 11 raid was conducted illegally and that the stress, shock and grief contributed to the 98-year-old’s death.

Ms. Meyer, standing with the support of a walker, can be seen directing her voice-activated virtual assistant to call her son while yelling at the officers inside her home, “Don’t you touch any of that stuff!”

“You asshole! This is my house!” she says.

An officer in a dark shirt can be seen patting another officer in a grey shirt, who tries to talk to Meyers, on the shoulder before walking away. All the officers in the video are wearing bulletproof vests. 

“We’ll be out of here pretty quick,” the man tells Meyer.

“Does your mother love you?” says Meyer who approaches the officer with her walker. “Do you love your mother? You’re an asshole!”

She repeatedly tells the officers to leave her home, not to touch her belongings, and stand outside.

“How many computers do you have in the house?” an officer asks at one point.

“I’m not gonna tell you,” Meyer replies while crossing to where the officers are searching. “Get out of my way. I want to see what they’re doing.”

“Well, they’re working,” the officer says.

Another officer tells Meyer they are gathering the items a judge told them to take.

According to NBC News, “the search of the Marion County Record’s offices was based on a police chief’s stated belief that one of [its] reporters committed identify theft by accessing the driver records of a restaurant owner.”

A journalist, Phyllis Zorn, for the Marion Country Record was investigating a local business owner, Kari Newall, who had applied for a liquor license. Zorn reportedly received a tip and obtained evidence that Newall had lost her driver’s license in 2008 following a DUI. The paper says Zorn found Newell’s driver’s record by searching the state Revenue Department’s website. 

A DUI charge would have precluded Newall from obtaining the liquor license. The Record did not publish the information and instead contacted the local sheriff and police chief.

We’d understood that the source may have — I emphasize may — have received this from the estranged husband, there was apparently a dispute going on over who should get the cars,” said Bernie Rhodes, the Record’s attorney, per KCUR. “We didn’t want to feel like we were being used in that battle.”

In the affidavit, Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody wrote that “downloading the document involved either impersonating the victim or lying about the reasons why the record was being sought.”

Cody’s officer raided the elderly Meyer’s home as well as Eric Meyer’s home, the home of  City Council member Ruth Herbel, and the Record’s office. The officer seized cell phones, computers and other items during the raids. 

But less than a week after the raids, Marion County top prosecutor Joel Ensey withdrew the search warrants and asked authorities to return the seized materials, saying ‘insufficient evidence exists to establish a legally sufficient nexus between this alleged crime and the places searched and the items seized,’” per CNN.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*