The criminal charges filed against the NewsNation reporter who was arrested while reporting at a news conference in East Palestine have been dropped, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Wednesday.
Evan Lambert-McMichael was arrested after reporting live during a news conference last week held by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and other officials who were updating the train derailment in East Palestine, CNN previously reported.
Body camera footage shows officials approaching Lambert-McMichael and asking him to stop his reporting as it was too loud during the press conference. The footage also shows an argument break out and Ohio National Guard’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. John Harris, approaching and pushing Lambert-McMichael.
Lambert-McMichael was charged with resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor, and criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, according to Yost.
“While journalists could conceivably be subject to criminal charges for trespassing in some situations, this incident is not one of them,” Yost wrote in a statement. “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.”
In a statement on Twitter, Lambert-McMichael spoke about the incident.
“It is by design that reporters aren’t meant to become the story,” he began.
“I’m still processing what was a traumatic event fore 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-McMichael noted.
“I am doing alright. And I will be OK. I will also continue to do my job without fear or favor in service of the public. I also hope what happened to me shines further attention on the people of East Palestine, who rightly have questions about their safety in light of an environmental hazard,” he added.
DeWine said Wednesday on “CNN This Morning” he has “never had a problem” during any of the news conferences he’s held during his tenure as governor.
“This reporter who was reporting live from the back of the room never should have been asked to stop, never should have been told to be quiet,” the Republican governor told CNN’s Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins. “That was a big, big mistake. And you know, the person who did that, I’ve explained to them and I’m sure that he’ll never, never do that again.”