One of the reporters who works at the small Kansas newspaper that was raided by authorities earlier this month filed a federal lawsuit against the police chief Wednesday.
The initial online search of a state website that led a central Kansas police chief to raid a local weekly newspaper was legal, a spokesperson for the agency that maintains the site said Monday, as newly released video showed the publisher’s 98-year-old mother protesting a search of their home.
A central Kansas police chief was not only on legally shaky ground when he ordered the raid of a weekly newspaper, experts said, but it may have been a criminal violation of civil rights, a former federal prosecutor added, saying: “I’d probably have the FBI starting to look.”
A Kansas prosecutor said Wednesday that he found insufficient evidence to support the police raid of a weekly newspaper and that all seized material should be returned in a dispute over press freedoms that the White House acknowledged it is watching closely.
A small newspaper and a police department in Kansas are at the center of a dispute over freedom of speech as the newspaper struggled Monday to publish its next edition, days after police raided its office and the home of its owner and publisher.