Arrested journalist says he was only trying to do job

Olive Rios
May 14, 2017

He said he was not warned by security guards or police that he was breaking the law.

He had followed Mr Price as he entered the building, holding out his phone to record while repeatedly asking whether domestic violence would be considered a "pre-existing condition" barring affected women from receiving health insurance.

Heyman was doing his job Tuesday, when Price came to the Capitol.

"Do you think that's right, or not?" he called out. "I think it is a question that deserves to be answered". "They could have told me to back off, to go away".

Price and Conway were in Charleston, West Virginia, for an event focused on the opioid epidemic, WSAZ-TV reported.

The story in the Public News Service said Valerie Woody, an outreach coordinator with the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, said Price and the entourage were moving quickly through a hallway and Heyman was scurrying after them.

Daniel Ralph Heyman, 54, with the Public News Service of West Virginia, was freed on $5,000 bond Tuesday night on a charge of "willful disruption of government processes", according to a criminal complaint.

"I was yelling out questions, and that was it", Heyman said at a news conference shared online by the West Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"West Virginia authorities should drop all charges against Dan Heyman immediately and respect journalists' right to question government officials", said Alexandra Ellerbeck, senior USA and Americas researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"The arrest of a journalist trying to ask a question in the public interest is a clear affront to press freedom", said Alexandra Ellerbeck, senior USA and Americas researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists.

"I asked if I was under arrest, and they said yes". "I think that's a mistake". "It's not fair for that security to protect them from uncomfortable questions".

The Secret Service referred questions to the local authorities.

"What President Trump's administration is forgetting, and what the Capitol Police forgot today, is that the government works for us. The other reporters here did attend it and I presume were able to ask their questions there". During a conference call Wednesday, he and Public News Service CEO Lark Corbeil asked that the charge not be pursued by the state.

New Hampshire is one of the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the state's governor, Chris Sununu, a Republican, didn't say whether he wanted the expansion to continue.

He said he pressed the question of domestic violence because it's an important public policy question.

Much like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Justice Department prosecuted a woman for laughing during his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price is not anxious about looking thin-skinned.

Price did not respond and, moments later, Heyman was being arrested. A male officer tells him, "calm down, relax".

"You're going to beat me up and then end up on the news tonight?" he asks the officers, according to the recording.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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