A judge has banned MSNBC from entering the courthouse of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Kenosha, Wisc. after a person who claimed to be a producer for the network received a traffic violation while allegedly following a bus transporting jurors.
“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said, according to The Daily Beast. “This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following a jury bus, that is an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”
Schroeder identified the individual as James J. Morrison, added that Morrison said he is a producer for NBC News and MSNBC. The judge said Morrison claimed his supervisor told him to follow the bus transporting the jurors, and he ran a red light while following the vehicle.
Here is video from court with Judge Bruce Schroeder explaining the situation with the man who said he is “James J. Morrison” with @MSNBC and was following the jury bus yesterday evening.
— Andrew Havranek (@Andrew_Havranek) November 18, 2021
In a statement given to press, NBC News said that a freelancer did indeed receive a traffic violation near the jury van last night, but “the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
According to the Beat, Kenosha Police said that on Wednesday night, “a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet was briefly taken into custody and issued several traffic related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further.
“There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained,” the police said. “This investigation remains active and open, no further information.”
The jury is currently in the third day of deliberations as Rittenhouse faces five felony charges for killing two people and injuring a third last August.