CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Latest on the arrest of Public News Service journalist Daniel Heyman in West Virginia (all times local):
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price says police at West Virginia’s Capitol “did what they felt was appropriate” in arresting a journalist.
Price spoke Wednesday at a meeting on the opioid epidemic in Concord, New Hampshire. A day earlier while attending a similar meeting in Charleston, West Virginia, Price declined to answer repeated questions in a hallway from a journalist who was then arrested. Police said the reporter “aggressively” tried to get past Secret Service security.
Price was asked if he felt Public News Service reporter Daniel Heyman (HI-min) was being too aggressive and whether it was appropriate that he was arrested. Price said it was “not my decision to make.”
Capitol police charged Heyman on Tuesday with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor.
A media company whose reporter was arrested in West Virginia while questioning U.S. Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price is calling for the charge to be dropped.
Public News Service founder Lark Corbeil said on a conference call Wednesday that Daniel Heyman “was doing his job” in asking questions of Price at the state Capitol in Charleston.
Capitol police charged Heyman on Tuesday with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor. They said in a criminal complaint that Heyman was yelling questions and tried to breach Secret Service security.
Corbeil calls the charge “an overreach.”
No court date was immediately set.
According to its website, the Boulder, Colorado-based Public News Service manages independent news services in 36 states, reporting on social, community and environmental issues for print and radio customers.
Police say a West Virginia journalist was arrested after yelling questions at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Price and senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway visited the state Capitol in Charleston on Tuesday to learn about efforts to fight opioid addiction in a state with the nation’s highest overdose death rate.
Capitol police said in a criminal complaint 54-year-old Daniel Ralph Heyman was yelling questions at the two. It says he tried to breach Secret Service security and had to be removed from a hallway at the Capitol.
He was charged with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor.
Heyman, who works for Public News Service, says he was arrested after he tried to ask whether domestic violence would be considered a pre-existing condition under the proposed health care overhaul.
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