A bizarre incident took place Wednesday at a press conference by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in East Palestine about a hazardous train derailment in which a reporter for NewsNation doing a stand-up report was surrounded by the county sheriff, town police officers, state troopers, the building superintendent and was shoved by a National Guard general. Lambert was then arrested for refusing to leave the press conference. The general had complained to Lambert that he was speaking too loud. Lambert told officers, “I am doing my job. This is covered by the First Amendment.”
Gov. DeWine did not see the altercation, which took place at the far end of a school gymnasium away from the DeWine press event. DeWine condemned the arrest when he was informed about it, saying he does nor bar reporters from doing stand-up reports while he speaks.
NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert was forced to the floor and handcuffed in full view of fellow reporters and then hustled outside and taken to jail, charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. Lambert was released about five hours later on $750 bond.
Lambert said as he was being handcuffed, “This is what it’s like to be a Black reporter in 2023.” While the officers who arrested him are White, the general who sparked the incident and shoved Lambert is also Black.
Video of Lambert being cuffed…and stuffed. Note the female deputy’s pink handgun and pink handcuffs:
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
A reporter got arrested during a Press conference in East Palestine Ohio pic.twitter.com/rAjx3Ot3rU
— Andrew (@Clippersfanboi) February 8, 2023
. @NewsNation‘s DC-based correspondent @EvanLambertTV arrest footage continued. #NewsNation pic.twitter.com/wEJStVuiOs
— NewsNation PR (@NewsNationPR) February 9, 2023
State Trooper bodycam released Thursday:
I wasn’t going to watch this. But it is important to show. My colleague was trying to do his job. This video shows Ohio’s commander of the National Guard, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., shove my colleague. Escalating the situation. @NationalGuard @NewsNation pic.twitter.com/CW3ldxbGZL
— Kellie Meyer (@KellieMeyerNews) February 10, 2023
Fox News reported on the press release issued Thursday by East Palestine Police Chief J.C. Brown (excerpt):
In a press release Thursday, East Palestine Police Chief J.C. Brown III laid out what allegedly transpired that justified Lambert’s arrest.
Brown began claiming how Lambert’s live reporting from the rear of the gymnasium was “loud,” prompting two State Highway Patrol Troopers along with Adjutant Major General Harris from the National Guard to “advise” the NewsNation crew to “stop their live reporting in an effort to ensure that all members of the media were getting the necessary safety information.”
“An argument then ensued between the general and Lambert-McMichael, which was now disrupting the press conference. The general informed officers that Lambert-McMichael was coming at him, in an aggressive manner, General Harris feeling threatened pushed Lambert-McMichael away,” Brown wrote. “Sheriff Brian Mclaughlin, Chief Deputy Jen Tucker, and Lt. Caleb Wycoff along with Det. Haueter then went back and advised Lambert-McMichael that he needed to leave the gymnasium because at that point in time the situation evolved into a physical confrontation and required law enforcement intervention.”
Brown continued, “Lambert-McMichael advised the officers that he was not leaving and was again advised by all three officers to leave the gymnasium. In an effort to deescalate the situation, Lambert-McMichael was asked to step outside and talk with an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper. Det. Haueter also asked Lambert-McMichael to step outside and talk yet Lambert-McMichael refused.”
After Lambert allegedly rebuffed the East Palestine School District building supervisor’s request to leave, Brown wrote that “all reasonable means to deescalate” the situation were “exhausted,” leading Haueter and Tucker to attempt to escort him out.
“Lambert-McMichael was advised he was being arrested, and while escorting Lambert-McMichael out, he attempted to pull away and was then placed under arrest for criminal trespassing at which time he resisted arrest,” Brown alleged. “During the struggle, Lambert-McMichael was taken to the ground by Det. Haueter and Chief Deputy Tucker in an effort to maintain control of Lambert-McMcMichael while preventing injury to the involved parties. While on the ground, Lambert-McMichael was not listening to the officers and was attempting to get up. Lambert-McMichael eventually complied with the officers, stopped resisting arrest and was transported to the county jail by the County Sheriff’s office.”
Statement by Ohio National Guard Adjutant Maj. Gen. John Harris (Bio):
If you care to read what the Ohio National Guard’s side of the Evan Lambert arrest is, here it is. From Adjutant Maj. Gen. John Harris who writes: “He then became enraged. His eyes opened wide…I was convinced he was prepared to do harm to me.”
Yet every video says otherwise. pic.twitter.com/EIC2SMAgq1
— Markie Martin (@MarkieMartin) February 9, 2023
Gov. DeWine statements:
Journalists on the ground pushed Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine for answers during the press conference. Here’s what he said over two hours ago about authorities arresting Evan Lambert and putting him in handcuffs. And yet, here we are. #FreedomofthePress pic.twitter.com/Muvs6SPd7w
— Paige Lobdell (@producerpaige_) February 9, 2023
.@GovMikeDeWine issues statement on our NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert’s arrest while covering a press conference.
Evan remains in jail right now. pic.twitter.com/X0sjqVkroZ
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 9, 2023
Lambert spoke on air after being released from jail Wednesday night:
“No journalist expects to be arrested when you’re doing your job,” @EvanLambertTV says. He goes on to say he will continue to do his job and report what people need to know.
Watch #Banfield: https://t.co/s8z9kEhRC4 pic.twitter.com/tqHDvxHbk7
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 9, 2023
Ohio talk radio legend Bill Cunningham laughed at the general saying he was in fear of Lambert.
Radio host and former Ohio Assistant Attorney General @Willie700WLW laughed at the Ohio National Guard’s Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John C. Harris’s claim that NewsNation reporter @EvanLambertTV “was prepared to do harm to him.”
Watch #MorninginAmerica: https://t.co/Xm2whLUtyA pic.twitter.com/Z3sp9kA8h1
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 10, 2023
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