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Journalist Jailed For Questioning HHS Secretary Says He Was Just Doing His Job

By in Huffington Post on May 16, 2017

By Michael McLaughlin

The West Virginia journalist who was arrested after shouting questions last week at Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday that he’s surprised by the attention his case has received.

Dan Heyman, a Public News Service reporter, published an op-ed in The Washington Post describing his experience after getting arrested for repeatedly questioning Price in the West Virginia State Capitol. Heyman wanted Price to address aspects of proposed health care legislation that would possibly drive up costs for victims of domestic violence. Police accused Heyman of “willful disruption of governmental processes.”

When Heyman was released after spending seven hours in jail, he was surprised to learn that he was at the center of a smoldering national story raising questions about press freedom under President Donald Trump’s administration.

The government works for us, not the other way around. We stand with the @ACLU_WV, Dan Heyman, and reporters nationwide.

— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 10, 2017

“I don’t think I deserve all that. It’s true that I was arrested for doing something journalists do every day, shouting out a question to a public official walking down a hallway, but there are reporters who suffer a lot more just for being reporters,” Heyman wrote. “Still, I’ve been amazed by the supportive comments I’ve gotten on social media, as well as unsolicited offers of money or help.”

He added that he wasn’t interrupting any government processes, despite the allegation.

“I went to the capitol to do my job and ask a question — not looking for trouble or intending to disrupt some state process,” he wrote.

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