NewsNation correspondent arrested for refusing to 'be quiet' during press conference released from jail: report

NewsNation correspondent arrested for refusing to 'be quiet' during press conference released from jail: report
Image via screengrab.

NewsNation correspondent Evan Lambert was released from custody late Wednesday night hours after he was arrested outside of a press conference held at East Palestine Elementary School by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R), who was discussing evacuation orders stemming from last week's freight train derailment.

Videos of the incident were posted on Twitter.

"Lambert was giving a live report during NewsNation’s Rush Hour when he was told by law enforcement personnel at the news conference to be quiet," NewsNation explained. "Lambert finished the live report but was then asked to leave by authorities, who tried to forcibly remove him from the event. The charges Lambert is facing are disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing."

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Preston Swigart, a photographer who was accompanying Lambert, told NewsNation that DeWine's briefing started more than two hours late and that officers removed Lambert after he refused to cease broadcasting.

"From their standpoint, he didn’t obey orders when he was told to stop talking," Swigert recalled, per Morrisville, North Carolina outlet ABC11. "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."

NewsNation affiliate reporter Megan Lee recounted what she witnessed.

"It seems like there was some type of physical altercation toward Evan," she said. "And then, I remember hearing Evan say like, 'this is assault,' or something. Honestly, I was in so much shock that they were trying to not let him do his job — it was shocking to me."

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NewsNation Washington Bureau Chief Mike Viqueira corroborated Lee's account.

"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."

Viqueira also published a statement once Lambert was released.

"We are relieved that Evan Lambert is safe and headed home for a much-needed respite. We never want to lose sight of the fact that Evan was in Ohio to provide up-to-the-minute reporting about a tragic train accident that has impacted thousands of lives," " said Viqueira. "Evan handled this unfortunate situation with true professionalism, and we appreciate his commitment as a journalist whose goal is to report stories that are fair and unbiased. On a positive front, I just spoke with Evan a short time ago and he was calm, cool, collected, and already talking about his next assignment."

DeWine maintained that he did not witness anything and expressed dismay over what occurred.

"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," the governor said. "If someone was stopped from doing that, or told they could not do that, that was wrong. It was nothing that I authorized."

Lambert, meanwhile, defended the importance of press freedom.

"I'm doing fine right now. It's been an extremely long day," he said. "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."

Watch below or at this link.

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