Kansas Police Chief Who Raided Newspaper Office Resigns

Resignation comes days after he was suspended
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
Kansas Police Chief Who Raided Newspaper Office Resigns
This image made from surveillance video provided by the Marion County Record shows members of the Marion, Kan., Police Department confiscating computers and cellphones from the publisher and staff of the Marion County Record, Aug. 11, 2023, in Marion, Kan.   (Marion County Record via AP, File)

The police chief who led an August raid on a small weekly newspaper in central Kansas has resigned, just days after he was suspended from his post, a City Council member confirmed Monday. City Council Member Ruth Herbel confirmed to the Associated Press that the mayor announced Chief Gideon Cody's resignation at Monday's City Council meeting. The announcement comes days after Cody was suspended for reasons that were not made public, and weeks after a local prosecutor said that there wasn't sufficient evidence to justify the search of the Marion County Record.

Cody did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment about his resignation. The mayor also did not respond to a text and phone call about it. The public announcement of Cody's resignation was initially reported by the Marion County Record and the Wichita Eagle. Cody's departure comes after recently obtained body camera video from the search of the newspaper shows that an officer rifled through a desk drawer of a reporter who was investigating its chief. The video then shows the officer beckoning Cody over to look at the documents he'd found. Cody then says, "Keep a personal file on me. I don't care," the video shows. He's briefly seen bending over, apparently to look at the drawer, before the other officer's clipboard blocks the view of what the chief is doing.

Cody obtained warrants for raids on the newspaper's offices, the home of its publisher and Herbel's home by telling a judge that he had evidence of possible identity theft and other potential crimes tied to the circulation of information about a local restaurant owner's driving record. But the newspaper and its attorney have suggested he might have been trying to find out what it had learned about his past as a police captain in Kansas City, Missouri. "This was all about finding out who our sources were," Bernie Rhodes, the newspaper's attorney, said Monday. The local prosecutor later said that there wasn't sufficient evidence to justify the warrants for the raids. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation then took charge of the probe and hasn't said where it stands. (More from the bodycam footage here.)

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