EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – The NewsNation reporter arrested during a news conference in East Palestine is speaking out after charges against him were dropped.
Evan Lambert said he’s taking it day by day, but he’s doing OK. He said he’s back at work, which is exactly what he wants to be doing right now.
Lambert was arrested during a press conference for the train derailment, and he was originally charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest charges.
An affidavit claims the man in charge of Ohio’s National Guard, Major Gen. John Harris, confronted Lambert over his “loud” reporting and that two Highway Patrol troopers, along with Harris, went back and advised them to stop that reporting.
The affidavit accuses Lambert of being involved in an altercation with Harris during the incident. A statement from Harris says Lambert was “aggressively lurching” at him and screaming that “you guys are the ones who strung this thing out!”
Video of the incident from the gymnasium appears to show Harris push Lambert in the chest, leading law enforcement to surround the men, separating Harris from Lambert.
Lambert feels the charges were unjust, saying he was broadcasting at a low volume on the other side of the gymnasium during the press conference.
He said going to jail is something he never expected, and he’s relieved the charges have been dropped.
“As I’ve been able to reflect on it, it has been a traumatic experience for me. It’s one that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget. I was embarrassed, humiliated,” he said.
Lambert said he thinks what is important is that his arrest brought more attention to the larger story in East Palestine. He said he plans to keep doing his job, but he also hopes there will be accountability for what happened to him.
“Just for it to escalate to the point of police using physical violence against me, I think is still something that baffles me,” he said. “I never expected that, and I thought in that moment that I was just going to have a conversation about my rights and that I was going to be allowed to continue doing my job.”
One of the first things that he would like to see is some kind of investigation into the action of the officers involved in his arrest.