In August, local Kansas law enforcement raided a small newspaper.
One day later, the paper's 98-year-old co-owner died.
The police chief who initially signed off on the raid has now officially resigned from his post.
A Kansas police chief who ordered the controversial raid of a small-town newspaper in August has officially resigned.
Marion Police Department Chief Gideon Cody turned in his badge on Monday less than two months after he signed off on the police raid of the Marion County Record in August. Zach Hudlin, an officer who was present at the raid, has temporarily taken Cody's place as acting chief.
The news of the police chief's resignation comes less than a week after Marion Mayor David Mayfield formally suspended Cody as the Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigates the incident further.
On August 11, local law enforcement raided the newspaper, the home of its publisher, and a city councilwoman's house. In the process, officers took several reporters' computers and phones, leading to immediate backlash from First Amendment activists.
One day after the August raid, the 98-year-old co-owner of the paper, Joan Meyer, died in her home after being "stressed beyond her limits and overwhelmed by hours of shock and grief after illegal police raids on her home and the Marion County Record newspaper office," the Record reported.
To obtain the search warrants for the raid, Cody previously argued that the newspaper broke the state's identity theft laws to obtain a local business owner's driving records. While a judge did initially sign off on the warrants, law enforcement was ultimately ordered to return the seized property of the news outlet after a local prosecutor insisted there wasn't sufficient evidence to back up the raid to begin with.
Prior to his time as the police chief of the Marion Police Department, Cody was a captain with the Kansas City Police Department, a position he left while the department was in the process of internally investigating if he had made derogatory and sexist comments to a fellow officer.
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