A NewsNation reporter was arrested during a press conference on Wednesday held by Gov. Mike DeWine in East Palestine. He was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, according to a press release on Twitter from the media organization.
During the press conference, Evan Lambert was asked to stop because "the volume of his reporting."
"A reporter who had been giving a live report during the briefing was asked to end the broadcast because the volume of his reporting was perceived to be interfering with the event," said a press release from DeWine's office.
At the end of the presser, which announced residents of East Palestine were safe to return to their homes, DeWine acknowledged the "commotion."
"I heard some commotion back there, but obviously I couldn't see through there [the cameras]," he said. "Let me just say that a reporter should be allowed to report live or to tape, or whatever they want to do anywhere in this press conference. That happens frequently. I'm certainly very, very sorry that that happened."
Lambert was released from Columbiana County Jail around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, NewsNation said during a broadcast.
NewsNation reporter @EvanLambertTV was released from jail after being arrested while covering the Ohio governor's news conference Wednesday afternoon.— NewsNation (@NewsNation) February 9, 2023
Watch #Banfield: https://t.co/s8z9kEhjMw pic.twitter.com/b1UD6EnqFG
The Ohio State Highway Patrol, which provides security for the governor, confirmed they did not make the arrest at the press conference. Dispatchers for Columbiana County Sheriff's Office said they assisted in the arrest and all future information will come from the East Palestine Police Department. The East Palestine police was contacted for comment and we are waiting to hear back.
DeWine's office issued this statement following the incident during the press conference:
Governor DeWine did not see the incident take place because his view was blocked by a bank of cameras recording the press conference, however he did hear a disagreement toward the back of the gymnasium.
He was later advised that a reporter who had been giving a live report during the briefing was asked to end the broadcast because the volume of his reporting was perceived to be interfering with the event.
Governor DeWine did not request that the reporter stop his live broadcast, nor did he know that the request was being made.
As the Governor said at the conclusion of today’s briefing, he has always respected the media’s right to report live before, during, and after his press briefings, and the interruption to the reporter’s broadcast should not have taken place.
Because the Governor did not witness what occurred after the broadcast ended, we cannot provide comment on what led to the reporter’s arrest.
Additionally, during the press conference, DeWine said Lambert "had a right to be reporting."
"All I can say is that person had a right to be reporting. They should have been allowed to report if they were in any way hampered from reporting that, that certainly is wrong and it's not anything that I approve of. In fact, I vehemently disapprove of it," he said.
This article was written by Claire Geary for WEWS.