CHARLESTON W.Va. – On Tuesday, May 9, 2017 journalist Dan Heyman (Heyman) was arrested at the West Virginia State Capitol Building while attempting to ask United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price and Senior Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, questions relating to pre-existing health conditions enumerated in the American Healthcare Act (AHCA). Both Secretary Price and Conway were in West Virginia to discuss the AHCA.
Following his arrest, Heyman was taken to in South Central Regional Jail in Charleston. He was later released on $5,000 bond. After his release Heyman provided video statements to the press, which can be found here. Heyman is a veteran reporter with over 30 years experience. He presently works for Public News Service.
The following are statements can be attributed to American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV):
“This a dangerous time in our country. Freedom of the press is being eroded every day. We have a President who calls the media “fake news” and resists transparency at every turn. And today, a reporter was arrested for trying to ask a question to members of President Trump’s administration. 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.”
“By asking Tom Price and Kellyanne Conway whether domestic violence was considered a preexisting condition under President Trump’s healthcare proposal, Dan Heyman was doing his job as a reporter. He was fulfilling that sacred role of the media in a democratic state of holding our elected officials accountable regarding the vital issues of the day. And for that, he was arrested.”
“What President Trump’s administration is forgetting, and what the Capitol Police forgot today, is that the government works for us. Today was a dark day for democracy. But the rule of law will prevail. The First Amendment will prevail. The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia stands ready to fight any attempt by the government to infringe upon our First Amendment rights.”