Charges dropped against reporter arrested at Ohio news conference

Evan Lambert, the correspondent for NewsNation, had every right to press charges against Ohio Attorney General Yost, but the charges of arrest and trespassing were dismissed.

On February 8, Lambert was arrested and taken into custody by the authorities after a press conference. He refused to comply with their orders to leave and was instructed by Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio to halt the live broadcast.

The reporter said in a Wednesday statement that he was grateful for those who worked to see the charges dismissed, including DeWine.

He said, “I did not truly choose this case to be in. It is not meant for the reporters to become the story by design.”

Prior to his apprehension by a deputy sheriff and a police officer from East Palestine, the body-camera recording revealed that Lambert engaged in a intense altercation with Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr., Who serves as the commander of the Ohio National Guard.

Police stated that DeWine was addressing the audience simultaneously with Lambert, who was loudly conversing from the rear of the gym.

WATCH: Discharge of harmful substances from train accident in Ohio raises wider safety worries.

Yost, who was requested by the county prosecutor to examine the accusations, stated that the local authorities seemed to be mimicking the actions of the National Guard.

Yost stated that arresting a journalist who is reporting at a press conference, irrespective of the intention, is a matter of great importance. “Ohio safeguards the freedom of the press in its constitution, and government officials should bear in mind the need to exercise a greater level of self-control when employing the power to make arrests.”

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During the press briefing, DeWine, who in his capacity as governor was providing an update on the train accident involving hazardous substances, stated that he did not sanction the apprehension or witness the dispute, further emphasizing that journalists possess “complete entitlement” to cover briefings.

He had called for the charges to be dismissed and stated that he had spoken with Harris on Tuesday, DeWine said that he regrets the overall situation.

The video displayed Harris confronting and gesturing towards Lambert, before briefly shoving the reporter in the chest with one hand. The recording also captured Lambert pointing and engaging in conversation with Harris, until a state trooper intervened by placing themselves between the two individuals and escorting the commander away.

Lambert subsequently moved apart from two officers who proceeded to push him to the ground and restrain him with handcuffs, as shown in the video.

Lambert expressed, based on the video evidence, “This is the experience of being a Black journalist in 2023,” as he was being restrained.

Lambert and Harris, who is a part of the governor’s cabinet, serve as the national guard commander. Lambert, who is the sheriff of Columbiana County, ordered officers two to leave Lambert County. The two officers were handcuffed by Lambert, who is white.

Lambert stated on Wednesday that he was still processing what a traumatic context it was, where we are hyper-aware of how some interactions with the police can color people’s circumstances much worse in the end.

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