The Ohio local police department that rather violently arrested a news reporter at a press conference with Gov. Mike DeWine got caught telling a tall tale about how it all went down.
Surprise there, eh?
The police statement on the arrest of Evan Lambert, a NewsNation correspondent, noted that Adjutant Maj. Gen. John Harris, who confronted Lambert as the reporter was doing a live standup at the press conference, felt “threatened” by the reporter, and that when Lambert refused to leave the scene, “the situation evolved into a physical confrontation and required law enforcement intervention.”
The release of body-cam footage by the East Palestine Police Department made clear the lie, showing that Harris, visibly upset that Lambert was talking during the press conference, probably 100 feet away from where DeWine was speaking, confronted the reporter, then pushed him, before officers forced Lambert out of the event before taking him to the ground to make an arrest.
None of the actions on the part of Harris, the commander of the Ohio National Guard, or the local police, were justified, as is clear from watching the video.
DeWine had already acknowledged as much.
“It has always been my practice that if I’m doing a press conference, if someone wants to report out there and they wanna be talking to the people back on channel or whatever, they have every right to do that,” the governor said in a statement last week. “If someone was stopped from doing that or told they could not do that, that was wrong and it was nothing I authorized. And certainly, that would be something I would not want to see happen.”
“I’m certainly very, very sorry that happened. I don’t have all the facts, but he or she or whoever was arrested had every right to be there,” DeWine said.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released a statement on Wednesday after reviewing the video evidence confirming that his office was dropping all charges against Lambert.
“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.”