RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Schmidt writes: "An officer in the capitol pulled veteran reporter Dan Heyman aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. He was jailed on the charge of willful disruption of state government processes and was released later on $5,000 bail."

Tom Price. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Tom Price. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)


Journalist Arrested for Asking Trump Cabinet Member About Healthcare Bill

By Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post

10 May 17

 

s 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.

Before Heyman’s arrest, no police officer told him he was in the wrong place, Heyman said. He was wearing a press pass as well as a shirt with a Public News Service logo on the front, and identified himself to police as a reporter, he said.

At the news conference, Heyman’s lawyer called the arrest a “highly unusual case” and said he has never had a client arrested for “talking too loud.” The lawyer, Tim DiPiero, described Heyman as a mild-mannered, reputable journalist and called the arrest “bizarre” and “way over the top.”

Heyman has worked as a reporter for about 30 years, and his stories have appeared in the New York Times, NPR and other national news outlets, he said. Since 2009, he has worked as a West Virginia-based producer and reporter for Public News Service, a nonprofit news service that provides content to media outlets while also publishing its own stories.

Lark Corbeil, chief executive and founder of Public News Service, said Heyman’s arrest took the organization “very much by surprise.”

“From what we can understand, he did nothing out of the ordinary,” Corbeil said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He was doing what any journalist would normally do, calling out a question and trying to get an answer.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia said in a statement that Heyman’s arrest constituted “a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press.” It called the charges against Heyman “outrageous” and demanded they be dropped immediately.

“This is a dangerous time in our country,” the statement read. “Freedom of the press is being eroded every day.”

“Today was a dark day for democracy,” the ACLU of West Virginia added. “But the rule of law will prevail. The First Amendment will prevail.”

Heyman said he has been reporting on health care issues for many years, calling it “well-trodden ground” in his coverage. As a veteran journalist, he is used to criticism, he said, but he has never heard of a reporter being arrested for asking a question. Heyman said he thinks the public relies on journalists aggressively “pursuing the truth.”

“If they don’t like the stories I write, that’s fine,” Heyman said. “They can criticize me all they want.”

“But just saying that I shouldn’t be able to do my job is a bit ridiculous,” he added.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+11 # elizabethblock 2017-05-10 09:17
We expect this sort of thing to happen in Russia, or Turkey, or Saudi Arabia - well, not in Saudi Arabia, the press there self-censors. Not in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave [sic].
 
 
+9 # thekidde 2017-05-10 09:40
Impeach.
 
 
+9 # madame de farge 2017-05-10 09:44
Being a woman is a pre existing condition. being a man is a pre existing condition....

Why not just privatize everything including the military, the roads, the police, etc.. John Rockefeller would love that, he sent the Pinkertons to kill the Ludlow miners, because he was not making any profit.... He actually wrote a book about that.
 
 
+12 # thekidde 2017-05-10 10:00
Herr Drumpf's minions should wear their swastikas on their sleeves for more rapid identification as fascist pigs.
 
 
+10 # suzyskier 2017-05-10 10:14
Wow shades of Fascism loud and clear.
 
 
+12 # REDPILLED 2017-05-10 10:22
Another example of the authoritarian Trump regime's attack on freedom of the press.
 
 
+12 # WBoardman 2017-05-10 10:25
Fascists are not accountable.

It's part of their job description.

You pretty much have two choices:
push back, or
get used to it.

A serious judge would throw this case out of court.
 
 
+11 # DongiC 2017-05-10 13:02
If the Republicans were fighting in the Revolutionary war, we would still be singing, "God Save the KIng." They are so unpatriotic, the GOP. What a disgrace they are.
 
 
+13 # jwb110 2017-05-10 13:06
The Trump Gestapo doing its very best to shut up the people. Wake up America.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-05-15 14:17
Quoting jwb110:
The Trump Gestapo doing its very best to shut up the people. Wake up America.

The orange Führer at work, clearly. Nothing to see here, volks, keep walking/marchin g/lying to yourselves ... .
 
 
+7 # thekidde 2017-05-10 13:09
Did the cop do a Nazi salute and Sieg Heil prior to this b.s.
 
 
+10 # mill valley maven 2017-05-10 13:55
Did you hear the one about the Code Pink woman who was forcibly removed from the gallery at a congressional hearing for LAUGHING when she heard an outrageous lie from the testimony? And how about the FCC investigating Stephen Colbert for his Trump-Putin gag? Welcome to the Bizarro upside-down world of Trumplandia!
 
 
+3 # hwmcadoo 2017-05-10 14:30
USSR, here we come.
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2017-05-15 14:19
Quoting mill valley maven:
Did you hear the one about the Code Pink woman who was forcibly removed from the gallery at a congressional hearing for LAUGHING when she heard an outrageous lie from the testimony? And how about the FCC investigating Stephen Colbert for his Trump-Putin gag? Welcome to the Bizarro upside-down world of Trumplandia!

Achtung! Heil, the orange Führer!Quoting hwmcadoo:
USSR, here we come.


More like fascist Germany, actually. And Trumpolini did admit to sleeping with a copy of Mein Kampf uner his pillow for years.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN