By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Former colleague of Kansas police chief calls him the ‘worst commander’ ever

The Marion County Record has dropped the bomb on Police Chief Gideon Cody, whose officers recently raided the newspaper’s office and two private homes. The Record’s Deb Gruver writes that the paper had held off from publication because it couldn’t get anyone to go on the record — but that decision was reversed after other news organizations began to report similar stories, also based on anonymous sources.

Cody left the Kansas City Police Department, where he was a captain, after he was demoted for harassing and demeaning his subordinates. Perhaps the most explosive section in Gruber’s story involves Cody’s unhappiness at having been transferred while he was under investigation:

Multiple sources recalled a conversation in which Cody was talking about his career and mentioned how much he loathed working in communications, or dispatch.

Cody said that if they hadn’t transferred him when they did, he would have found “the skinniest and prettiest girl down there and f*cked her” to force a move.

“I was quite flabbergasted and didn’t know how to respond to that,” a source said. “All respect that was there was lost.”

One source later transferred to another unit.

“As soon as I left his command, I was happy. It felt like a great weight had been lifted off of me,” he said.

Gruver added that one source called Cody “the absolute worst commander I ever experienced” and quoted him as saying: “His ego would not allow him to listen to what anyone below his rank said … a common characteristic of toxic/ego-centric commanders.”

The Record has also posted about a minute and a half of security video (above) showing the officers in the midst of illegally (that is, without the required subpoena) searching the home of Joan and Eric Meyer, the publishers of the Record. Joan Meyer, who was Eric’s 98-year-old mother, died the next day. She comes across as pretty feisty in the video, but she was no match for Cody’s heavily armed men.

At no point have I believed the cover story for the raid — that police were searching for evidence that the Record had illegally obtained documents about a local restaurateur’s history of drunken driving. It has seemed clear from the beginning that Cody was looking to intimidate the Meyers to stop their reporters from probing into his sleazy past in Kansas City. And now it’s all starting to come out.

Earlier coverage.

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  1. pauljbass

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on this story from so many different news outlets!

  2. Good coverage on this issue. Stay with it.

  3. George Haralson

    Such a tragedy and the actions of the officers under the command of the police chief are unacceptable! Having served as a law enforcement officer for over 49 years in a major city and a larger county, I personally obtained and served well over 500 district court search warrants! The affidavit for the district court judge to review and then approve the issue of a search warrant MUST show 1. A crime has been committed 2. That there is Probable Cause to believe that evidence in stated crime is currently at & in the location to be searched!

    From my professional perspective and experience…. This tragic incident could have been avoided, the heavy handed tactics of the Police chief should be called into question!

    The civil liability for this small town & police chief should a civil suit be filed, will be disastrous!

  4. Barbara Williams

    “A spokesperson for the state agency that maintains the database contradicted the affidavit in part, telling the Associated Press it’s legal for a reporter or anyone else to check the status of another person’s license.”

    Universal Citation: KS Stat § 8-261a
    8-261a. Making false affidavit perjury. Any person who shall willfully and corruptly swear or affirm falsely to any material matter or thing required by the terms of this act to be sworn to or affirmed, is guilty of perjury and upon conviction shall be punishable by fine or imprisonment as other persons committing perjury are punishable.

    Universal Citation: KS Stat § 72-5527 (2014)
    72-5527. Perjury; penalties. Any person who shall, with intent to defraud, make any false statement or falsify any record required by virtue of the provisions of this act or any rule or regulation of the board, shall be deemed guilty of perjury and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year nor more than five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

    Chief Cody swore to the truthfulness of his affidavit, which in fact was based upon lies. When the court has the word of a law enforcement against a regular citizen, all things being equal the court takes the word of the LEO, because that LEO has taken an oath to uphold the law and is assumed to be honest by virtue of that oath. They’re held to a higher standard, and given more trust than anyone else would be. Take his badge and gun away, arrest him, book him, let him pay bail if he can.

    • Lori S.

      What about the elderly lady whose house was raided that caused her undue stress and happened to die the next day? What is to come of that?

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