Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) was surrounded by county sheriffs and city police officers during a news conference Wednesday about a dangerous train derailment in East Palestine. State troopers, the building superintendent and a National Guard general shoved him. Lambert was then arrested after refusing to leave the press conference. The general complained to Lambert that he was talking too loudly. “I’m doing my job,” Lambert told the officers. It is covered by the First Amendment.”
Gov. DeWine did not see the brawl, which took place at the end of a school gymnasium not far from the DeWine press event. DeWine condemned the arrest when he was informed of it, saying he does not prevent reporters from doing stand-up reports while speaking.
News Nation reporter Evan Lambert was forced to the floor and handcuffed in full view of fellow reporters and then rushed outside to jail, charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. Lambert was released about five hours later on a $750 bond.
“It’s like being a black reporter in 2023,” Lambert said as he was being handcuffed. The officers who arrested him were white, while the general who broke the story and pushed Lambert was also black.
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Video of Lambert being cuffed…and stuffed. Note the female deputy’s pink handgun and pink handcuffs:
Braking: @EvanLambertTVDC-based correspondent @NewsNation, covered train accidents in Ohio. He was doing a live shot in the back of the room during a press conference—he was told to stop by police, pushed to the ground, handcuffed and placed in a patrol car. pic.twitter.com/RZv6nT7j8o
— NewsNation PR (@NewsNationPR) February 8, 2023
A journalist was arrested during a press conference in East Palestine, Ohio pic.twitter.com/rAjx3Ot3rU
— Andrew (@clippersfanboy) February 8, 2023
— NewsNation PR (@NewsNationPR) February 9, 2023
State trooper bodycam released Thursday:
I’m not going to see it. But showing is important. My colleague was trying to do his job. This video shows the commander of the Ohio National Guard, Adjutant General Major General John C. Harris Jr., pushing my colleague. Aggravating the situation. @National Guard @NewsNation pic.twitter.com/CW3ldxbGZL
— Kelly Meyer (@KellieMeyerNews) February 10, 2023
Fox News reported in a press release issued Thursday by East Palestine Police Chief Jesse Brown (excerpt):
In a press release Thursday, East Palestine Police Chief Jesse Brown III explained that Lambert’s arrest was justified.
Brown began to complain about how Lambert’s live reporting from the back of the gymnasium was “loud”, prompting two State Highway Patrol troopers, including National Guard Adjutant Major General Harris, to advise the News Nation crew to “try to stop their live reporting”. To ensure that all members of the media receive the necessary safety information.
“An argument then broke out between the general and Lambert-McMichael, which is now disrupting the press conference. Aware of the general officers that Lambert-McMichael was coming toward him, in an aggressive manner, Gen. Harris felt threatened and pushed Lambert-McMichael away,” Brown wrote. “Det. Hauter along with Sheriff Brian McLaughlin, Chief Deputy Jane Tucker, and Lt. Caleb Wyckoff. then went back and advised Lambert-McMichael that he needed to leave the gymnasium because at that point the situation had escalated into a physical altercation and law enforcement intervention was required.”
Brown continued, “Lambert-McMichael advised the officers that she was not leaving and again advised all three officers to leave the gymnasium. In an attempt to defuse the situation, Lambert-McMichael was asked to go outside and speak with an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. Det. Hauter also asked Lambert-McMichael to go out and talk but Lambert-McMichael refused.
After Lambert refused the East Palestine School District building supervisor’s request to leave, Brown wrote that the situation was “exhausted” to “exhaust all reasonable means,” leading Hauter and Tucker to try to fire him.
“Lambert-McMichael was advised that he was being arrested, and while Lambert-McMichael was escorted out, he attempted to walk away and was then arrested for criminal trespass at which time he resisted arrest,” Brown alleged. “During the struggle, Lambert-McMichael was taken to the ground by Det. Hauter and Chief Deputy Tucker prevent injury to parties involved in efforts to maintain control of Lambert-McMcMichael. While on the ground, Lambert-McMichael was not listening to officers and was trying to get up. Lambert-McMichael eventually complied with officers, stopped resisting arrest and was transported to the county jail by the county sheriff’s office.”
Statement from Ohio National Guard Adjutant Maj. Gen. John Harris (bio):
If you care to read the Ohio National Guard’s side of the Evan Lambert arrest, here it is. From Adjutant Major General John Harris who wrote: “He then became enraged. His eyes widened… I am sure he was ready to do me harm.”
Yet each video tells a different story. pic.twitter.com/EIC2SMAgq1
— Marky Martin (@MarkyMartin) February 9, 2023
Govt. Divine Statement:
Reporters pressed Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for answers during the press conference. Here’s what he said two hours ago about authorities arresting and handcuffing Evan Lambert. And yet, here we are. #Freedom of press pic.twitter.com/Muvs6SPd7w
— Paige Lobdell (@producerpaige_) February 9, 2023
— Brian Antin (@Brian Antin) February 9, 2023
Lambert spoke on air after being released from prison Wednesday night:
“No journalist expects to be arrested while you’re doing your job.” @EvanLambertTV He said he will continue his work and report what people need to know.
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 9, 2023
Ohio talk radio legend Bill Cunningham laughed and told the general that he was in awe of Lambert.
Radio host and former Ohio Assistant Attorney General @Willie700WLW Ohio National Guard Adjutant General Major General John C. The News Nation reporter laughed at Harris’ claim @EvanLambertTV “He was ready to do harm.”
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 10, 2023