NewsNation’s Washington D.C. correspondent Evan Lambert was released from an Ohio jail late Wednesday. He was arrested earlier in the day and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.
Lambert was in East Palestine, Ohio, covering the train derailment and was on the scene providing a live report for the network while a news conference was being held by Ohio governor Mike DeWine.
The news conference was at the East Palestine Elementary School gymnasium, and law enforcement told Lambert to be quiet because the governor was speaking.
Lambert wrapped up his report but was then asked to leave the gymnasium by law authorities, who then tried to forcibly remove him from the event, subsequently taking him into custody.
Cameras caught the entire interaction and followed Lambert to the police car, who said, “It’s tough to do your job in America, but we’ll keep doing it,” as he was placed in the back of the vehicle.
Shortly after 10 p.m. ET Wednesday night, Lambert was released from the Columbiana County Jail.
Speaking to NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield live later that night, Lambert said he was doing fine “right now” and noted that the situation was caught on video, saying, “it’s pretty clear to see what happened.”
He added that he was just trying to do his job and was trying to protect the first amendment and democracy and that he was trying to help people get information about what was happening with regard to the derailment.
NewsNation’s Washington bureau chief Mike Viqueria said that the arrest violated the first amendment and added, “as his boss, as his colleague, as a fellow journalist, it’s really infuriating.”
DeWine said that the arrest was not authorized by him, adding that it “was wrong,” with his office releasing a statement to NewsNation saying, “As the governor said at the conclusion of today’s briefing, he has always respected the media’s right to report live before, during, and after his press briefings,” the statement said. “Because the governor did not witness what occurred after the broadcast ended, we cannot provide comment on what led to the reporter’s arrest.”