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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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NewsNation reporter arrested while working in Ohio

Feb 09, 2023

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Ryan Robertson

Anchor, Investigative Reporter

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A working journalist was pinned to the ground, handcuffed, arrested and charged with multiple misdemeanors. This didn’t happen in China, Iran or Russia, it happened in Ohio.

Evan Lambert is a correspondent for NewsNation based in Washington, D.C. He was in Ohio Wednesday at a press conference, reporting on the recent train derailment.

According to NewsNation, Gov. Mike DeWine’s press conference, which was supposed to start hours earlier, started at the same time Lambert went live with his report.

A police affidavit obtained said the man leading Ohio’s National Guard, Maj. Gen. John Harris interrupted Lambert’s live broadcast because he was being “loud.”

The police affidavit said a confrontation ensued between Harris and Lambert. While Harris called the situation “contrived,” it was Lambert who wound up in handcuffs.

Most of the incident was caught on video by multiple reporters, who can be heard saying what the East Palestine police officers were doing was a clear violation of the First Amendment. DeWine denounced the arrest.

“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.

Lambert, who is identified as Evan Lambert-McMichael by police, was taken to the Columbiana County Jail and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. It was originally thought Lambert would spend the night in jail, but he was released fairly quickly. NewsNation reported DeWine may have had something to do with Lambert’s release.

Speaking after his release, Lambert said, “No journalist expects to be arrested when you’re doing your job. I think that’s really important that doesn’t happen in our country. It obviously happens more often, more frequently in other countries that don’t have the freedoms that we do and the Constitution that protects this job.”

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Youngstown Press Club both strongly condemned the arrest and demanded all charges against Lambert be dropped.

East Palestine Chief of Police James Brown released a statement on the issue late in the afternoon on Thursday. Brown said officers were trying to “de-escalate the situation.” The chief said Lambert was taken to the ground in an effort to “maintain control” over him, while “preventing injury to the involved parties.”

Statement from East Palestine Police on the arrest of Evan Lambert.

For more Straight Arrow News reporting on First Amendment issues, click here.

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A WORKING JOURNALIST WAS PINNED TO THE GROUND, HANDCUFFED, ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE MISDEMEANORS. THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN IN CHINA, IRAN OR RUSSIA, BUT IN OHIO.

EVAN LAMBERT IS A D.C.-BASED CORRESPONDENT FOR NEWSNATION. HE WAS IN OHIO WEDNESDAY AT A GOVERNOR’S PRESS CONFERENCE, REPORTING ON THE RECENT TRAIN DERAILMENT.

ACCORDING TO NEWSNATION, GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE’S PRESS CONFERENCE, WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO START HOURS EARLIER, STARTED AT THE SAME TIME  LAMBERT WENT LIVE WITH HIS REPORT.

A POLICE AFFIDAVIT SAYS THE MAN LEADING OHIO’S NATIONAL GUARD, MAJOR GENERAL JOHN HARRIS INTERRUPTED LAMBERT’S LIVE BROADCAST BECAUSE HE WAS BEING LOUD.

THE POLICE AFFIDAVIT SAYS A CONFRONTATION ENSUED BETWEEN HARRIS AND LAMBERT. WHILE HARRIS CALLED THE SITUATION CONTRIVED, IT WAS LAMBERT WHO WOUND UP IN HANDCUFFS.

MOST OF THE INCIDENT WAS CAUGHT ON VIDEO BY MULTIPLE REPORTERS, WHO CAN BE HEARD SAYING WHAT THE EAST PALESTINE POLICE OFFICERS WERE DOING WAS A CLEAR VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. GOVERNOR DEWINE DENOUNCED THE ARREST.

DeWine: 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.

LAMBERT WAS TAKEN TO THE COLUMBIANA COUNTY JAIL AND CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL TRESPASS AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT. BOTH MISDEMEANORS. IT WAS ORIGINALLY THOUGHT LAMBERT WOULD SPEND THE NIGHT IN JAIL, BUT HE WAS RELEASED FAIRLY QUICKLY.  NEWSNATION REPORTED GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE MAY HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH LAMBERT’S RELEASE.

Lambert: No journalist expects to be arrested when you’re doing your job. I think that’s really important that that doesn’t happen in our country. It obviously happens more often, more frequently in other countries that don’t have the freedoms that we do and the Constitution that protects this job.

THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS AND THE YOUNGSTOWN PRESS CLUB BOTH STRONGLY CONDEMNED THE ARREST AND DEMANDED ALL CHARGES AGAINST LAMBERT BE DROPPED.

I REACHED OUT TO THE EAST PALESTINE POLICE DEPARTMENT. SO FAR, THEY HAVE YET TO ISSUE A FORMAL STATEMENT ON THE MATTER. THE CHIEF OF POLICE DID TELL ONE LOCAL OUTLET OFFICERS WERE TRYING TO DEESCALATE THE SITUATION. THE CHIEF SAID LAMBERT WAS TAKEN TO THE GROUND IN AN EFFORT TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER HIM, WHILE PREVENTING INJURY TO THE INVOLVED PARTIES.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS A VITAL PART OF OUR REPUBLIC, AND WE TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY AT STRAIGHT ARROW. WHICH IS WHY WE’LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS STORY AND OTHERS LIKE IT. FIND THE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.