Cops raided a smalltown newspaper so no-one would ever find out of about police chief Gideon Cody's alleged sexual misconduct or Kari Newell's DUI conviction

Originally published at: Cops raided a smalltown newspaper so no-one would ever find out of about police chief Gideon Cody's alleged sexual misconduct or Kari Newell's DUI conviction | Boing Boing


Nuts. “sketch of Barbra Streisand wearing a police cap” didn’t result in anything that was recognizably her.


I’m too scared to try again.


John McClane: Drop it, dickhead. It’s the Sbablce! – Die Hard, 1988


Really frames “Try That in a Small Town” (Jason Aldean’s homage to lynching) in a sickly light.

next up: the small town, Dayton, in Washington State which is trying to close its one and only library in the entire county because they have dared to have some books (now only in the adult section) which consider trans and other gender issues. A minority of morons shouting “groomer!” is apparently all that’s required “In a Small Town”

DAYTON, COLUMBIA COUNTY — Book battles are raging across the nation, but none have carried the kind of stakes as the one here in Dayton, a one-stoplight farming community in the southeastern corner of Washington.

For the county’s only library, the battle has turned, quite literally, existential: Voters will decide in November whether to shut it down.

The library, which has occupied the same modest brick building a block off Main Street for 86 years, is at risk not because of a lack of funding or a lack of demand for its services. Instead, it could shutter because of a yearlong dispute over the placement of, at first, one book, then a dozen and now well over 100, all dealing with gender, sexuality or race. …


The Second Amendment is absolute and must not even be looked at sideways, lest you violate gun owners’ rights.

The First Amendment is largely about religion, and the right of Christians to discriminate against anyone they want. There’s some other text in that amendment, but it’s not clear what it’s about, or if it is even supposed to be in there. So it can be ignored.



Not the first time a small newspaper has been harassed by the cops and it won’t be the last. This kind of thing was very common before there were phones and computers to seize, it was done by physically intimidating reporters and editors.

But now we have phones and computers, and the ability to communicate and more importantly publish instantly. That is why there needs to be a system where any small paper working on a story like that partners with a larger news org outside of the local jurisdiction. The small paper shares all their info but it is kept under wraps. If the sheriff pulls a raid like this, that is your dead man’s switch. The larger org takes over, writes the story, and puts it online, maybe even circulating a special edition of the local paper if people rely on print.

Labor unions protect individual workers, news unions could protect small outlets.

EDIT: I am aware federal law was enacted in 1980 to make these kind of raids on newsrooms illegal. Just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it can’t happen, especially when cops want to do it and a judge (who may not even know federal statute) signs off on it. That is why, when you’re investigating anyone with local power, you ensure you have a failsafe outside their influence.


As a former newsroom employee, I wholeheartedly agree that there should be a news union. I worked for a paper in the Cox chain and we were regularly encouraged to only turn in 40 hours a week on our timesheets, even if we had worked 60 hours. It wouldn’t be approved if you turned in more without approval.
I still believe small town papers do important work that keeps small town crony politicians from becoming little dictatorships, in some instances.


Judge Laura Viar, who signed the warrant, has some explaining to do.


This story is bonkers. I’ve been through Marion, I believe. It is a dot on the map between several larger cities.

I haven’t heard about the Chief of Police allegations until just now. That makes more sense why they would act vs them getting the tip about a restaurant owner’s DUI.

This has to be a severe violation of the 1st Amendment, and I hope the KBI does something about it.

And way to live up to stereotypes of cops getting in trouble and then moving somewhere

Also, I thought the news said there were 7 cops and 2 county deputies. The town is only 2000 people, and they have 7 cops? That seems high. Though this website I found that tracks things, says there are only 5. Maybe they have some reserve officers.

Some real Boss Hogg levels of shenanigans going on.


Absolutely. In many ways they are more important than national chains because here at the local level in small towns, nobody else is watching.

In my small town, the local paper is a visible and critical part of the infrastructure. It is part of a small regional group of papers owned by one company, but they are still covering all the little towns around here where, again, nobody else is watching. A number of small corruption scandals have been nipped in the bud by that chain of papers.


To people outside the USA, the idea of a police department with only seven officers is mind-boggling.


Is it Black Press? They own all the little paper around here. A buddy is mine is the editor for our local paper (and writer and photographer). The poor guy is spread so thin it’s not even funny. Along with his local reporting duties, they’ve got him running all over the place doing bits and pieces for the other papers.

Pretty sure that’s more than my community of 10,000 +. We don’t even get overnight coverage.


Yes! They’re doing good work all over BC. They’ve been the only group to report on a number of shenanigans with town councils, tiny local school boards, drag protests at libraries, and other stuff that CBC or the Toronto Star would never bother with. Even the nicest of places need somebody watching to keep the politicians and right wing nut jobs honest.


What do you mean? You expected more because of how many cops we have?

I went to look it up and where I grew up 7th grade to HS and where my parents still live, there are about 9500 people, and according to this site, they have 22 cops, though at one point they had 25. I am sure there is some formula with how many cops per 10k people you need, but in a town of 2000, shouldn’t see much crime.

Heck I grew up K-7th in an even smaller town that had about 3000 people, now has about 2850 people, and they have 7 cops. :confused:

Guess you can look up your home town to see their stats. The cops per person ratio of KC, MO is 40.4 per 10k residents!

ETA - Weird - they don’t have data on my current city, which is a pretty large part of the KC metro area.


Yeah. They do a great job of keeping tabs on everything. They do everything from hyper local coverage of petty grievances to sitting through regional district meetings.

I just feel bad for the one guy doing all the work. He used to have a team, now it’s just him and one ad sales person (in the local office). Small town papers don’t get the love they used to.


Attention Saint Barbara,



I mean that a community so small that it only needs seven cops would not have its own police department. It would be covered by a much larger organisation.

In any case, many European countries have national police forces. A village might have only one cop (or none), but that’s one officer with the same powers and responsibilities as any other beat cop, not a one-man police department.


In the suburb of Chicago I’m in, a small online newspaper is starting to keep the Board of Education (for this suburb) accountable for the self-dealing the superintendant and some of the Board members have been engaged in for the last couple years. It’s too small of a story for either the Trib or the Sun-Times, but this guy (I think it’s just the one guy) is doing yeoman’s work in causing uncomfortable, but necessary, questions to be asked about some pretty egregious contracts that were signed without full transparency.


Ah,I see. Welcome to America!

There are some really small towns where they don’t have a local police, and they have the county level Sheriff’s Department for policing.

But for every podunk town with only a few thousand people, and you will have all these little police departments. :confused:

And there have been rumblings for years about small town corruption.

I’ve been to places in Missouri around the Ozarks where the rumors are to keep driving through certain towns, as the cops act like it is their own little fiefdoms. Doubly so if you aren’t white. I don’t know if that is urban legend, gossip, or truth, but I don’t want to find out.

I had a very weird experience with an acquaintance who became the DA for a small town in rural Missouri. Her husband said that during some case she was pursuing, she had something happen that made her super paranoid, to the point they got a divorce. I only heard one side of the story and maybe there were other reasons, but I went down a rabbit hole where I found local news articles about the case, and a local forum complaining about her.

So, yeah, I get the feeling this is another example of small town corruption that made the national news this time.