It’s already pretty clear that president Donald Trump’s administration is no friend of the free press. If Trump isn’t labeling every critical report under the sun “fake news,” his Press Secretary Sean Spicer is banning liberal news organizations from press briefings and replacing them with the right-wing gutter press.
But yesterday they took their hate of journalists to a whole new level.
BREAKING: Dan Heyman from @PNS_News has been arrested at the WV State Capitol by Capitol Police for trying to ask Secretary Price a question
— ACLU of WV (@ACLU_WV) May 9, 2017
Dan Heyman, a Public News Service reporter, was arrested yesterday at the West Virginia State Capitol after trying to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about the Obamacare repeal bill while the Secretary was trying to enter the building.
Heyman held a press conference shortly after being released on bail. Heyman informed those present that he had repeatedly tried to ask Price the same question about whether domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition in the new bill.
After informing Price that many other journalists wanted answers to the same question, the capitol police “decided I was just too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job and so they arrested me [Heyman].”
“It’s dreadful. This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to find out if someone is going to be affected by this healthcare law. … I think it is a question that deserves to be answered,”
The official complaint by the capitol police states that Heyman was “aggressively breaching the secret service agents to the point where the agents were forced to remove him a couple of times from the area walking up the hallway in the main building of the Capitol. The defendant was causing a disturbance by yelling at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price.”
The officer who filed the complaint added that he and another officer “were able to detain the defendant before he tried aggressively to breach the security of the secret service.”
So he was arrested for being aggressive before he had a chance to be aggressive? Something doesn’t add up here, and it sounds like Republicans are using law enforcement to shield them from tough questions.
Heyman admits he can’t remember how many times he asked the question, but expressed his disbelief that he was arrested simply for doing his job by holding a public official to account.
Not only was Heyman asking these question in a public space, but he also received no warnings from the police before they arrested him.
“No police officer told me, ‘You’re in the wrong place,’ ” he said.
The police “put hands on me, although they didn’t hurt me, certainly,” he added.
Heyman admitted it was the “first time I’ve ever been arrested for asking a question. First time I’ve ever heard of someone getting arrested for asking a question.”
Things are moving from bad to much, much worse in Trump’s America.
Free and fair coverage of his administration’s reckless antics and purposefully vindictive and destructive policies is under constant attack from by all levels of government, from local police all the way to the President himself.
How long will it be before the media are prevented from holding Trump to account altogether?
Here is a video of Heyman being dragged away by the police:
A video of the arrest, shot by Valerie Woody with the West Virginia Citizens Action Group. 3/3 pic.twitter.com/Q1bOSotNEe
— Eric Tegethoff (@EricTegethoff) May 9, 2017