A television reporter for NewsNation was arrested in front of cameras during a news conference held by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to address a disastrous train derailment over the weekend that caused a toxic chemical leak near the Pennsylvania border.
Dramatic footage shared by NewsNation shows the network’s correspondent, Evan Lambert, being taken to the ground and handcuffed by officers.
He was apparently scheduled to go live just as the governor stepped out to begin his press conference, and was approached by officers while on the air and asked to be quiet before his arrest, the network said in a statement.
DeWine clarified immediately after the incident that he did not personally request that officers arrest Lambert.
“It has always been my practice that if I’m doing a press conference, someone wants to report out there and they want to be talking back to the people back on channel, whatever, they have every right to do that,” DeWine said.
“If someone was stopped from doing that, or told they could not do that, that was wrong. It was nothing that I authorized.”
On Wednesday night, journalist Jordan Miller confirmed Lambert was sent to the Columbiana County Jail, charged with Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass.
Lambert had been tweeting updates just prior to his arrest. As he was dragged out of the conference, Lambert can be seen saying he was “just trying to do my job” while others around him shout at the cops around him.
Miller said that during the arrest, he asked the deputies why Lambert was being arrested. “They told us it was because he was resisting arrest,” he said. “But they couldn't answer what he was doing to resist arrest.”
He was released from jail on Wednesday night, per NewsNation’s Senior National Correspondent, Brian Entin, who tweeted earlier that Lambert had called a colleague from jail and revealed the charges. He had also claimed the “soonest” he will be released from jail is Thursday morning, making his release hours earlier than predicted.
Appearing on camera, Lambert said he was “shaken up” by the experience but that he will continue to do his job, despite the fracas.
“I have to be kind of careful about what I say but as you can see, I’m out,” he says.
“Most things are on video of the situation so it’s pretty clear to see what happened but I’ll just say this...I’m just trying to do my job as I’m continuing to do right now, that’s what it’s all about, protecting the First Amendment and democracy and trying to help people get information.
“We were talking about this major accident that impacted hundreds, thousands of people in this town and that is what we were trying to do at the time and what I continue to try to do.”
On NewsNation Wednesday night, speaking to Andrew Cuomo, Bill O’Reilly warned: “I think that the local police department in East Palestine will pay a price.”
The Daily Beast has contacted the East Palestine police for comment.