Tom Price praises West Virginia police after journalist is arrested for asking questions

After a reporter was arrested for asking HHS secretary Tom Price a question, Price commends the police

Published May 11, 2017 11:00AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price issued praise to the police officers in West Virginia for "doing what they thought was appropriate," when they arrested a journalist who was attempting to ask him a question, according to Stat News.

A reporter for the Public News Service, Daniel Ralph Heyman, was arrested and charged with "willful disruption of governmental processes," a misdemeanor. Police inside West Virginia's Capitol building said Heyman was yelling questions at Price and "aggressively" attempting to get through Secret Service agents. Heyman was eventually released on $5,000 bond.

When asked whether or not Heyman should have been arrested, Price said it was "not my decision to make," according to Stat News. "That gentleman was not in a press conference," Price added, when he described the incident by saying that he was approached while walking through a hallway.

Heyman defended himself on Tuesday, telling reporters that he believed he did not acted out of line and was instead just doing his job, "seeking to ask Price whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Trump administration’s proposed health care overhaul," according to Stat News.

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia condemned the arrest, saying, "Mr. Heyman’s arrest is a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press. The charges against him are outrageous, and they must be dropped immediately." The ACLU National Twitter account also posted a tweet about Price's statements, saying that "First Amendment rights are not confined to a press conference."

By Charlie May

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Aclu Aclu West Virginia First Amendment Health And Human Services Tom Price West Virginia Police