Legislators seek report on newspaper raid
Although it was not consulted in advance, the Record has learned that state legislators plan to introduce a resolution Tuesday directing the attorney general to report on whether civil rights were violated by police raids Aug. 11 at the Marion County Record and the homes of its owners and Marion's vice mayor.
The resolution (a 658KB PDF) notes that the raids appeared to have violated federal law, were disavowed because of insufficient evidence, and contributed to the death of newspaper co-owner Joan Meyer.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation asked Colorado Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent inquiry after the Marion police chief who spearheaded the raids contended KBI agents had reviewed warrants beforehand.
Results of CBI's inquiry are what the resolution seeks to have Attorney General Kris Kobach report on. The resolution also reaffirms the House's “unwavering support” for press freedom as a basis for a “free and informed society” that depends upon “engaged, civic-minded, critical thinkers.”
The resolution is being sponsored by representatives Mari-Lynn Poskin of Leawood and Dennis Highberger of Lawrence. Poskin is an educational consultant. Highberger is an attorney. Both are Democrats.
How readers can get involved
Local residents who want to encourage Marion County representatives Scott Hill and Stephen Owens to sign on as co-sponsors may email them at Scott.Hill@house.ks.gov or Stephen.Owens@house.ks.gov before noon Monday.
They and others who want to encourage Speaker Daniel Hawkins to ensure prompt action on the resolution may email him at Dan.Hawkins@house.ks.gov.
Hill, Owens, and Hawkins are Republicans.
Last modified Jan. 22, 2024