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Journalist Jailed For Questioning HHS Secretary Says He Was Just Doing His Job

The West Virginia journalist who was arrested after shouting questions last week at Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday that he?s surprised by the attention his case has received.

Dan Heyman, a Public News Service reporter, published an op-ed in The Washington Post describing his experience after getting arrested for repeatedly questioning Price in the West Virginia State Capitol. Heyman wanted Price to address aspects of proposed health care legislation that would possibly drive up costs for victims of domestic violence. Police accused Heyman of ?willful disruption of governmental processes.?

When Heyman was released after spending seven hours in jail, he was surprised to learn that he was at the center of a smoldering national story raising questions about press freedom under President Donald Trump?s administration.

?I don?t think I deserve all that. It?s true that I was arrested for doing something journalists do every day, shouting out a question to a public official walking down a hallway, but there are reporters who suffer a lot more just for being reporters,? Heyman wrote. ?Still, I?ve been amazed by the supportive comments I?ve gotten on social media, as well as unsolicited offers of money or help.?

He added that he wasn?t interrupting any government processes, despite the allegation.

?I went to the capitol to do my job and ask a question ? not looking for trouble or intending to disrupt some state process,? he wrote.

Two uniformed officers were filmed taking Heyman into custody. Price has expressed support for the officers, saying they ?did what they felt was appropriate.?

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia said in a statement that the arrest was ?a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press.?

HHS officials still have not answered Heyman?s question about provisions in the proposed law that would allow some health insurers to charge higher rates to survivors of domestic violence because of a ?preexisting condition.?

?As soon as this furor dies down, I hope to finish the story,? Heyman wrote. ?But I wasn?t calling out to Price to score points ? I was looking for answers about how the policy he was promoting would affect people in West Virginia and across the nation.?

Read Heyman?s full piece here.

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Revisit The Musicians Of The ‘Buena Vista Social Club’

Seventeen years ago, the Oscar-nominated documentary ?Buena Vista Social Club? chronicled the titular Cuban members? club, which spawned a crew of musicians who recorded an album of the same name. Opening May 26, a new movie will revisit the band members on their farewell tour, and the ups and downs they experienced in the intervening years.

HuffPost has an exclusive clip from ?Buena Vista Social Club: Adios? in which one of the group?s spirited veterans gives a tour of the old venue. He stresses the institution?s importance: ?This is the place where It used to be, the society for black people.? Thanks to Lucy Walker?s documentary, this piece of Havana history will get the send-off it deserves. 

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.