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Screencap, Facebook

A 98-year-old Kansas newspaper publisher died of a heart attack after an illegal police raid at a newspaper she co-owned with her son.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigations has taken over an investigation into the gestapo-style police raids that contributed to the death of Marion County Record newspaper co-owner Joan Meyer, 98.

Meyer was at home on Friday when the entire Marion County Police Department showed up at her door to serve a search warrant.

She sobbed while police ransacked her home and rummaged through her personal belongings.

Joan Meyer died of a stress-induced heart attack hours after the raids.

Police also raided the newspaper’s office and seized equipment, phones and computers, effectively shutting down the newspaper.

Joan’s son Eric Meyer accused Marion County police Chief Gideon Cody of using “Hitler tactics” during the raids.

The illegal raids sparked outrage around the country. Freedom of the press used to be protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution.

On Wednesday, the search warrant was withdrawn and all equipment, phones and computers were returned to the newspaper.

Joel Ensey, Marion County Attorney, ruled on Wednesday that there was “insufficient evidence” to justify a search warrant in the first place.

The search warrants were signed off by Magistrate Judge Laura Viar at the request of Chief Cody.

According to KSHB 41 News, attorney Bernie Rhodes, representing the newspaper, said Eric Meyer is considering legal action against the police department.

Rhodes hired a forensics expert to make sure the phones and computers weren’t searched by police.

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On Tuesday, it was revealed that Chief Cody (pictured during the raid) was being investigated by the newspaper for allegations of sexual misconduct.

Cody became chief of the Marion County Police Department after he was fired from the Kansas City Police Department amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

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The search warrants were initiated after a restaurant owner, Kari Newell, complained that the newspaper was going to publish a story about her 2008 DUI. The story would have prevented her from getting a liquor license for her restaurant.

Eric Meyer didn’t publish the story about Newell because he questioned the source of the information and whether her DUI records were obtained legally, according to the Kansas City Star.

Instead, Meyer told police about the information he had obtained.

But Newell complained that the newspaper obtained her personal information, which prompted the raids.

“Instead of asking a question or getting material, they came with an atomic flyswatter to seize our equipment and apparently tried to put us out of business,” Eric Meyer told The Star.

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, the newspaper printed its first edition since last week’s raids with the headline: “SEIZED… but not silenced.”