NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert was arrested during a press conference by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine about a train derailment.
Lambert had just wrapped up a live report during NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” when he was approached by law enforcement.
The officers told Lambert he needed to leave the event before forcibly removing him.
BREAKING: @EvanLambertTV, a DC-based correspondent for @NewsNation, has been in Ohio covering the train crash. He was doing a live shot in the back of the room during a press conference-was told to stop by police, was pushed to the ground, cuffed & arrested & put in a patrol car. pic.twitter.com/RZv6nT7j8o
— NewsNation PR (@NewsNationPR) February 8, 2023
Preston Swigart, a photographer at the event for NewsNation, said that law enforcement believed that Lambert did not obey orders to be quiet while the governor was speaking.
“From their standpoint, he didn’t obey orders when he was told to stop talking,” Swigart said. “Gymnasiums are echoey and loud and sound kind of carries, so I’m guessing that they just didn’t like the fact that there was sound competing with the governor speaking, even though it was all the way at the other end of the room.”
Governor DeWine has said that the arrest was “wrong” and that he was not the one who authorized it.
“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, according to NewsNation. “If someone was stopped from doing that, or told they could not do that, that was wrong. It was nothing that I authorized.”
As he was being put in the back of the squad car, Lambert said, “it’s tough to do your job in America in 2023, but we’ll keep doing it.”
Lambert has been charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.
NewsNation reported that Lambert was released from the Columbiana County Jail shortly after 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The @NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert has been released. Word is that Ohio @GovMikeDeWine has apologized for the arrest of this reporter, who is covering the Ohio derailment and happened to be at a press conference when he was arrested. #CallingAllJournalists pic.twitter.com/obZdEj1qEv
— Rebecca Aguilar (@RebeccaAguilar) February 9, 2023
“I’m doing fine right now. It’s been an extremely long day,” Lambert told his network after release. “No journalist expects to be arrested when you’re doing your job, and I think that’s really important that that doesn’t happen in our country.”
Mike Viqueria, NewsNation’s Washington Bureau chief, also issued a statement condemning the arrest.
“I was watching the press conference stream … and the only thing I heard that was disruptive was when this altercation with the police — which apparently they have instigated — was unfolding,” Viqueria said. “I did not hear anything of Evan’s voice when he was quietly speaking on live television. … As his boss, as his colleague, as a fellow journalist, it’s really infuriating.”
Viqueria said that the incident was “infuriating” and a violation of the First Amendment.