On Wednesday, a TV journalist reporting on the fiery 50-car train derailment in Ohio was arrested for speaking during the governor’s press conference.
While reporting live from a school gymnasium on Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R-OH) press conference in East Palestine, Ohio, Evan Lambert, a Washington, D.C., correspondent for NewsNation, was approached by law enforcement officials, escorted into a hallway and arrested. Videos show the press conference was at the other end of the room,
“It is literally my job to be there,” said Lambert as he was escorted away.
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.
“Evan reports that he is charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Local law enforcement has told him that the soonest he can be released is 8:30 et tomorrow,” said Viqueria. “Every effort is being made to assist Evan and secure his release as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday evening, DeWine said that he didn’t ask for any reporters to be arrested, and that it’s not out of the ordinary 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,” he said.
East Palestine, Ohio, became a hub of media activity over the weekend after a train was derailed, and 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 and would increase charges if children were placed at risk.
Officials conducted a controlled release of chemicals in an effort to mitigate the risk of explosion. The Associated Press reported that 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.
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