A reporter who was arrested after yelling questions at Health Secretary Tom Price during a stop in West Virginia said he was “trying to do my job” when he was detained by authorities.
The Washington Post reports that Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter with Public News service, was holding up his phone to Price trying to ask him questions as he was walking through a hallway Tuesday in the West Virginia state capitol.
Heyman, a journalist with Public News Service, repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, he said.
“He didn’t say anything,” Heyman said later in a news conference. “So I persisted.”
“I’m not sure why, but at some point, I think they decided I was just too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job and so they arrested me,” he added at the news conference, which was posted on Facebook by the ACLU’s West Virginia chapter.
Heyman ended up handcuffed, jailed and charged with the “willful disruption of state government processes.” A criminal complaint filed by local police said he tried to breach Secret Service security. He was later released on $5,000 bond.
On the top end of West Virginia, on the tip of that needle that shoots up between Ohio and Pennsylvania, we have the case of former police officer Stephen Mader, who has sued the city of Wierton, W. Va. Mader claims he was wrongfully fired because he chose not to shoot and kill Robert Williams, an African-American man, during a 2016 domestic dispute. From Newsweek:
Mader ordered Williams to show him his hands. When he complied, Mader saw he held a silver handgun. The officer drew his own weapon and ordered Williams to drop the gun. “I can’t do that,” Williams said. “Just shoot me.” Mader, who served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan, felt the man wasn’t dangerous or aggressive; instead he feared Williams was trying to commit “suicide by cop.”
Two other officers arrived at the scene, and within seconds, one shot Williams in the head, killing him. The Weirton Police Department placed Mader on administrative leave, then fired him for allegedly putting other officers at risk by failing to shoot.
After the shooting, police confirmed that the gun held by Williams — as had been reported by Williams’s girlfriend and as Mader suspected — wasn’t loaded.