West Virginia journalist arrested after asking HHS Secretary Tom Price a question

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Land of the free:

As Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price walked through a hallway Tuesday in the West Virginia state capitol, veteran reporter Dan Heyman followed alongside him, holding up his phone to Price while attempting to ask him a question.

Heyman, a journalist with Public News Service, repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, he said.

“He didn’t say anything,” Heyman said later in a news conference. “So I persisted.”

Then, an officer in the capitol pulled him aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. Heyman was jailed on the charge of willful disruption of state government processes and was released later on $5,000 bail.

Authorities said while Secret Service agents were providing security in the capitol for Price and Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to the president, Heyman was “aggressively breaching” the agents to the point where they were “forced to remove him a couple of times from the area,” according to a criminal complaint.

Heyman “was causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price,” the complaint stated.

But Heyman said he was simply fulfilling his role as a journalist and feels that his arrest sets a “terrible example” for members of the press seeking answers to questions.

“This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” Heyman said. “I think it’s a question that deserves to be answered. I think it’s my job to ask questions and I think it’s my job to try to get answers.”

Price and Conway were visiting Charleston, W.Va., to hear about efforts to fight opioid addiction in a state that has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate. They met privately with state and local policymakers and members of several groups, including officials of an addiction treatment center and an addiction hotline, according to the Associated Press.

You can read the rest at the Washington Post.

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