Media

MSNBC BANNED From Rittenhouse Courtroom After ‘Producer’ Allegedly Followed Jury Bus

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Judge Bruce Schroeder banned MSNBC from the courthouse after an individual identifying himself as an MSNBC reporter was allegedly caught following the jury bus.

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Kenosha Police Department released a tweet Thursday morning announcing a person who claimed 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,” the tweet read.

Schroeder made the announcement Thursday morning that “a person who identified himself as James Morrison and who claimed that he was a producer with MSNBC News, and under the supervision of someone named Irene Byon in New York for MSNBC” had been within a certain distance of the jury bus and went through a red light. Police pulled him over where he explained he had allegedly been instructed by Byon to follow the jury bus, according to Schroeder. (RELATED: Prosecution Closes Rittenhouse Case By Arguing He Should Have Just ‘Taken’ The ‘Beating’)

“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Schroeder said. “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 the jury bus, that is a very, extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”

The incident remains under investigation.

NBC News released a statement claiming “a freelancer” had no intentions of photographing the jurors, CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter tweeted.

“Last night, a freelancer received a traffic violation. While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact 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.”

Schroeder said Wednesday he would reconsider allowing live television in a trial again because “what’s being done is really quite frightening.”

“When I talked about problems with the media, when this trial started, we’re there in part … because of grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial.”