An update on the Aug. 11 law enforcement raid on the offices of the Marion, Kansas, County Record, and the homes of the newspapers’ co-owners and a town council member, that we commented on in last week’s editorial: The county attorney issued a statement on Aug. 16 declaring that “insufficient evidence” existed to support the search warrant on which the raid was based, and directed law enforcement officials to return all equipment and materials that were seized.
That won’t be the end of it, of course. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident, and lawsuits are likely. The best that can be said of the whole episode is that it drew national attention to an essentially lawless action, and renewed support for local media outlets that are doing their best to cover their communities even when they are feeling intimidated by people in power. We’d like to think the Marion County Record’s experience would make future depredations on press freedoms less likely. But we’re not that naïve.