Ohio Attorney General Drops Charges Against Reporter Arrested At News Conference

Dave Yost said the charges against NewsNation's Evan Lambert, hauled out of a train derailment press conference, were “unsupported by sufficient evidence.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that charges filed against a NewsNation reporter have been dropped following his arrest last week at a press conference about the East Palestine train derailment.

Evan Lambert, a correspondent for the outlet formerly known as WGN America, was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest as he covered the news conference attended by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R).

DeWine later criticized the arrest, although East Palestine Police Chief J.C. Brown III seemingly justified it and described Lambert as being loud while recording a live shot at the conference.

Yost said in a statement that the charges against Lambert were “unsupported by sufficient evidence.”

“While journalists could conceivably be subject to criminal charges for trespassing in some situations, this incident is not one of them,” Yost said.

“The reporter was lawfully present at a press conference called by the Governor of the state. His conduct was consistent with the purpose of the event and his role as a reporter.”

Lambert wrote on Twitter that he hopes his situation draws further attention to the situation in East Palestine and that he looks to continue to do his job “without fear or favor in service of the public.”

“I’m still processing what was a traumatic event for me, in the context of a time where we are hyper-aware of how frequently some police interactions with people of color can end in much worse circumstances. That is not lost on me,” Lambert said.

Lambert, in an interview Wednesday on NewsNation, reflected on the moments leading up to his arrest.

“I still think it’s worth fighting for our First Amendment rights to do my job, which is what I was doing that entire time,” he said.

The Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, near the Pennsylvania state line, released toxic chemicals into the air. The handling of the derailment and air monitoring has been criticized, and the train company, Norfolk Southern Corp., backed out of a town hall meeting Wednesday, citing “physical threats.”

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