A TV journalist reporting on the fiery 50-car train derailment in Ohio was arrested Wednesday for speaking during the governor’s press conference.
Evan Lambert, a Washington, D.C., correspondent for NewsNation, was approached by law enforcement officials as he was reporting live from a school gymnasium on Governor Mike DeWine’s (R-OH) press conference in East Palestine, Ohio. Videos show the press conference was at the other end of the room, and that officials escorted Lambert into a hallway to arrest him.
“It is literally my job to be there,” Lambert said as he was escorted away.
. @NewsNation‘s DC-based correspondent @EvanLambertTV arrest footage continued. #NewsNation pic.twitter.com/wEJStVuiOs
— NewsNation PR (@NewsNationPR) February 9, 2023
Mike Viqueria, Washington Bureau Chief for NewsNation, said Wednesday that Lambert was safe, calm, and continuing to act with professionalism and integrity.
“As you see from the videos, he was doing his job — what hundreds of journalists do without incident — reporting to the public on a matter of urgent, critical interest to our audience,” said Viqueria, also adding, “Every effort is being made to assist Evan and secure his release as soon as possible.”
Lambert was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, and was expected to stay in the Columbiana County Jail overnight. But he was soon released.
NewsNation reporter @EvanLambertTV speaks about his arrest upon being released late Wednesday night. “Most things are on video … so it’s pretty clear to see what happened. … I’m just trying to do my job.”
Watch #Banfield: https://t.co/s8z9kEhRC4 pic.twitter.com/VpnQzm0f1N
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 9, 2023
DeWine said Wednesday night that he didn’t ask for any reporters to be arrested and that it’s normal for reporters to speak on TV during his press conferences. “Whoever was arrested had every right to be reporting and doing what they do every single day.”
Journalists from around the country flocked to East Palestine, Ohio, over the weekend after officials warned that burning chemicals could cause a severe health hazard or dangerous explosion. Officials vowed to charge people with misconduct during an emergency if they refused to leave — with upgraded charges if children were at risk.
To mitigate the risk of explosion, officials decided to conduct a controlled release of chemicals. According to the Associated Press, the fires from that release are no longer burning, and residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday night.
Federal investigators said the crash was caused by an issue with a rail car axle.