Kansas 98-year-old Makes First Amendment Stand When Deputies Raid Home

Joan Meyer, the 98-year-old joint owner of a renowned Kansas newspaper, passed away a day after police executed search warrants at her residence and workplace. A recently released surveillance footage reveals her vociferously telling officers to leave her living area.

"Don't you touch any of that stuff," she declares at the beginning of the video, clad in a robe and slippers, supporting herself with a walker.

"Ma'am," an officer attempts to interject, only to be interrupted by her emphatic declaration, "This is my house!"

Eric Meyer, Publisher of the Marion County Record and Meyer's son, shared the video on Tuesday. This followed a statement from a state authority that an online search, which had been used as a justification for the search, wasn’t unlawful.

"How many computers do you have in the house, ma'am?" an officer inquires in a segment of the footage.

"I'm not gonna tell you," responds Meyer, maneuvering around him using her walker. "Get out of my way."

The younger Meyer attributes his mother's passing to the excessive stress from the raids, labeling them as "illegal" and equating them to "Gestapo tactics."

The search operation garnered national attention due to First Amendment concerns. Subsequently, Joel Ensey, the Marion County Attorney, retracted the search warrants last Wednesday. He instructed the Marion Police to give back all confiscated items, determining there was no legal foundation for the case against the newspaper or its personnel.

"It is not a crime in America to be a reporter," Bernie Rhodes, a lawyer representing the Meyers and their publication, commented to Fox News Digital.

The raid actions at Meyer's residence and the Record's office ensued post inquiries by journalists into claims that Kari Newell, a local confectionery store owner, possibly drove with a suspended license due to an earlier DUI. Furthermore, the newspaper had been probing allegations involving the new police chief, Gideon Cody, and rumors suggesting the department overlooked Newell's unlicensed driving.

Despite the investigations, the Record hadn't published an article about Newell's DUI incident prior to the raid. Journalists remained cautious, continuing their research on the matter and being wary of the initial informant due to potential biases, as mentioned in an editorial post Joan Meyer's passing.

Earlier in the month, Chief Cody accused the Record and a correspondent of identity fraud and unauthorized computer access, prompting the search and confiscations.

Joan Mayer, before her demise, likened the police's actions to "Hitler tactics," as conveyed by Rhodes.

No comment has been provided by Chief Cody as of now.

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