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Police chief suspended after controversial raid of Kansas newspaper

The Marion Police Department conducted a raid on Aug. 11 that has drawn criticism from press freedom advocates and legal experts.
Police chief suspended after controversial raid of Kansas newspaper
Posted at 1:45 PM, Oct 02, 2023

Marion, Kansas, Police Chief Gideon Cody, who's under fire for raiding the office of a local newspaper in August, was suspended by the city's mayor on Thursday, according to the paper.

The newspaper reported Friday on its website that City Administrator Brogan Jones circulated an email to the City Council informing them of Cody's suspension.

The police department conducted a raid Aug. 11 at the Marion County Record newspaper that has drawn criticism from freedom of the press advocates and legal experts across the country.

SEE MORE: Kansas attorney withdraws search warrant against raided newspaper

On Thursday, Scripps News Kansas City's Jessica McMaster reported a key witness in the case said she was directed by Cody to delete text messages.

Restaurant owner Kari Newell told McMaster earlier this month Chief Cody told her in a text message she was the victim of crime. Newell is a local restaurant owner whose driving record Cody used as a premise to raid Marion County Record and two homes.

The day of Newell’s interview, Newell said she no longer had the text messages between her and Cody.

The Scripps News Kansas City investigative team asked Newell for the text messages between her and Cody, but according to Newell, she deleted the text messages at the chief's behest.

“I did make mention that I didn’t know the necessity of that because there was nothing inappropriate in the text messages,” Newell said in an interview this week.

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Newell said the chief’s request came after the raids as rumors began to circulate about Newell and Cody’s relationship, which Newell insists is platonic, according to McMaster's story.

According to Newell, the chief didn't want people to draw conclusions about their relationship based off the texts.

“I kind of agreed and so I did delete those messages against my better judgment and immediately regretted it,” Newell said.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Kansas City.

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