May 10, 2017 (WEST VIRGINIA) Veteran reporter for the Public News Service, Dan Hayman, was arrested for asking questions from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, According to the American Civil Liberties Union West Virginia Chapter
Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter with Public News Service, was covering a visit to the state capitol by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway. As they walked through the building, Heyman pressed the two on whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the American Health Care Act passed by the House last week.
He was pulled to the side by Capitol Police and placed under arrest, handcuffed and taken to jail. He was charged with “willful disruption of governmental processes.” He was released only after his employer posted a $5,000 bond. He is still waiting for a preliminary hearing in the case. These hearings are when a judge decides if there is enough evidence to proceed to a full trial.
The criminal complaint alleges that “causing a disturbance by yelling questions.” This happened in the open hallways of a government building, not inside any government proceedings. The AHCA is a critical matter of public policy and Hayman was asking if domestic violence will be considered a preexisting condition.
“At some point, I think they decided I was just too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job, and they arrested me,” Heyman said after he was released.
According to the ACLU this did not happen in a vacuum and is another attack on the rights of the press to function freely. It should never become normal to prevent members of the press from doing their job.
If our elected officials insist on continuing to violate one of our country’s core values, we will see them in court — in defense of Dan Heyman and of any other journalist serving the public’s right to know.
This is the Video hosted on Youtube regarding the presser after Heyman’s release.