West News Wire: While covering a press conference about the derailing of a train transporting deadly chemicals in Ohio, a reporter was shoved to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested for trespassing.

During Gov. Mike DeWine’s Wednesday report on the disaster in the gym of an elementary school in East Palestine, NewsNation posted video of correspondent Evan Lambert being taken into custody.

According to NewsNation, Lambert was detained for around five hours before being let out of custody.

Right now, I’m doing great. After being released, Lambert said, “It’s been a really long day. No journalist anticipates being detained while performing their duties, thus it’s crucial that this doesn’t occur in our nation.

At the end of his news conference, DeWine said he didn’t authorize the arrest and reporters have “every right” to report during briefings.

“If someone was stopped from doing that, or told they could not do that, that was wrong,” DeWine said.

A following statement from the governor’s office said DeWine didn’t see the incident because a bank of cameras blocked his view but he did hear a “disagreement toward the back of the gymnasium.”

DeWine “has always respected the media’s right to report live before, during, and after his press briefings” the statement said.

Mike Viqueira, NewsNation’s Washington Bureau chief, called the arrest an infuriating violation of the First Amendment.

The Washington, D.C.-based Lambert could still face charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, NewsNation said.

The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office administration said the arrest was made by officers from the East Palestine Police Department. A message seeking comment from the department was not immediately returned.

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About 50 train cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash Friday night on the edge of East Palestine. Federal investigators say a mechanical issue with a rail car axle caused the derailment.

Nearby residents in Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania were ordered to evacuate when authorities decided on Monday to release and burn chemicals from five tankers filled with vinyl chloride, sending hydrogen chloride and the toxic gas phosgene into the air.

At the news conference, authorities said sampling had shown air quality in the area was safe and residents could return home, although DeWine said some residents may want to wait until the air inside their homes is checked.

The news conference started more than two hours late and DeWine started speaking at the same instant Lambert had to do a live broadcast from the back of the gym, Preston Swigart, a photographer who was with Lambert, told NewsNation.


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