- The judge overseeing Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial banned MSNBC from Courthouse after an independent producer working for the network allegedly chased a jury bus last night.
- The man allegedly chasing the bus identified himself as James J Morrison.
- According to Judge Bruce Schroeder, he identified himself as a producer on NBC News employed by MSNBC.
- NBC News said the man involved was a freelancer and had found a “traffic citation” near the vehicle carrying the jurors.
The judge overseeing Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial on Thursday banned MSNBC from Courthouse after an independent producer working for the network allegedly chased a bus carrying the jury last night.
“I have directed that no one from MSNBC News be allowed into this building for the duration of this trial,” Judge Bruce Schroeder said during a hearing.
“This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it will go unnoticed that someone who is following the jury bus is a very serious matter… Appropriate authorities will be sent for action,” the judge continued.
According to Schroeder, the man who allegedly followed the bus identified himself as James J. Morrison. Morrison claimed that he was a producer on NBC News employed by MSNBC.
Schroeder said Kenosha police pulled over Morrison because he was allegedly following a block behind the bus and at one point went through a red light. According to the judge, Morrison told officers that a supervisor in New York had instructed him to follow the bus.
Kenosha Police Department said in a statement Thursday afternoon that a man “alleging being affiliated with a national media outlet” was briefly detained and several traffic citations were issued. The department noted that “there was no breach of security” and that the person did not take any photos.
The department said that the incident is being investigated.
NBC News said in a statement that the person involved was a freelancer and had found a “traffic citation” near the vehicle carrying the jurors.
An NBC News spokesperson said in a statement Thursday afternoon, “When the traffic violation occurred near the jury van, Freelancer never approached or intended to contact the jurors during the deliberations, nor did their photographs Didn’t intend to take or photograph them.” “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities in any investigation.”
Schroeder’s decision to ban MSNBC from the courtroom comes a day after blast news coverage Rittenhouse test.
“When I spoke with the media about the problems when the trial began, we were somewhat there,” Schroeder said during a hearing on Wednesday. “Not entirely, but partly because of the completely irresponsible handling of what has emerged from this trial.”
The judge said he would think “long and hard” about allowing cameras for live coverage of future trials.
Schroeder continued, “I’ve always been a firm believer in this because I believe people should be able to see what’s going on, but when I see what’s being done it’s really Quite frightening.”
The jury at the trial is in its third day of deliberation.
Rittenhouse, 18, is on trial for killing two people and injuring another with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a protest against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man in Kenosha, Wis. . Last year.
Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old and a former police youth cadet, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26. He injured the now 28-year-old Gage Grosskretz. Rittenhouse, as well as those shots, are white.
If convicted of willful manslaughter of the first degree, he could face life in prison, the most serious of the five charges against him. Rittenhouse testified that he acted in self-defense.
On Wednesday, Rittenhouse’s lawyers asked the judge to declare a wrongful trial as the jury was deliberating. He claimed the defense received a shoddy copy of a potentially important video from prosecutors.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC and MSNBC.