Bodycam footage of the arrest of NewsNation correspondent Evan Lambert following a confrontation with leader of Ohio National Guard Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr. has been released by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The incident happened at a news conference with Ohio’s Gov. Mike DeWine.
Lambert was reporting on the train derailment that caused an explosion of toxic chemicals, the seriousness of which is being accused of being downplayed.
The footage shows Harris talking with a camera operator before a state trooper motioned for the live recording to stop. Harris started walking away before turning to confront Lambert, even pushing the reporter with one hand. A state trooper stepped in and moved away the commander.
In a statement to the police, Harris said that the reporter was aggressive towards him and he felt threatened. Lambert said he was just trying to do his job. He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass.
“I instinctively put my hands on his chest to keep him from bumping into me, which I felt was inevitable if I had not protected myself,” Harris said in a statement to the police.
The police said that Lambert was asked to leave the news conference several times but he refused. He was pushed to the floor by two officers when he attempted to pull away.
Lambert spent five hours in jail. 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.”
Gov. DeWine said that he did not authorize the arrest nor did he see the disagreement. He added that reporters have “every right” to cover briefings.
NewsNation’s president of news Michael Corn said the bodycam footage speaks for itself.
“Evan acted professionally and at a minimum is owed an apology,” Corn said.
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