Television reporter arrested during Mike DeWine press conference on Ohio train derailment

A television reporter was arrested during a press conference given by Gov Mike DeWine of Ohio on the state of a dangerous train derailment close to the state’s border with Pennsylvania.

Evan Lambert of NewsNation was preparing to go live on the air when Mr DeWine emerged to begin the press conference. Police officers reportedly asked Lambert to be quieter while Mr DeWine was speaking, then arrested him. Footage of the incident released by the network showed two officers handcuffing Lambert while he was facedown on the ground.

In an article posted on its website, NewsNation’s Tyler Wornell quoted Mr DeWine as saying he had nothing to do with 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,” Mr DeWine said. “If someone was stopped from doing that, or told they could not do that, that was wrong. It was nothing that I authorized.”

According to the NewsNation article, Lambert is facing charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.

After he was handcuffed, Lambert was driven away from the site of the press conference at an East Palestine, Ohio elementary school gymnasium in a squad car.

“It’s tough to do your job in America in 2023, but we’ll keep doing it,” Lambert said.

Preston Swigart, a photographer, was with Lambert during the sequence that ended in his arrest. He told Wornell

“From their standpoint, he didn’t obey orders when he was told to stop talking,” Swigart said. “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.”

The derailment of 50 freight cars, including ten carrying hazardous materials, continues to be of major concern in and around East Palestine in communities on both sides of the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. Residents in the surrounding area have been asked to evacuate, with some reporting headaches in the aftermath of the crash.

This content of this particular press conference, however, was quickly overshadowed by what NewsNation described as a violation of its reporter’s First Amendment rights.

Another video posted to Twitter by reporter Jordan Miller shows Mr Lambert being led away from the school in handcuffs.

“This is going to be on national news just because I’m trying to do my job?” Mr Lambert can be heard asking as he is walked down the sidewalk.