Rittenhouse Judge Bans MSNBC From Courtroom After Employee Follows Jurors

FILE - Judge Bruce Schroeder gives jury instructions during Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

KENOSHA (VINnews) — Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presidingh over the Kyle Rittenhouse case, banned MSNBC from the courtroom on Thursday for the rest of the trial.

The reason, Schroeder explained, is that an MSNBC employee claiming to be a producer with the outlet was arrested Wednesday evening, after allegedly following jurors.

The reason for the traffic stop was a blown red light, but was then taken into custody after telling Kenosha police that he was instructed by his boss to follow the jury bus.

“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC 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.”

Schroeder added that the man was identified as James J. Morrison, and told authorities that he was working for Irene Byon of NBC in New York.

“Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors,” the police said in a statement, adding that the incident is “being investigated much further.”

Irene Byon seems to have deleted or deactivated all her social media accounts after the story broke.

Ina statement released Thursday, MSNBC said: “Last night, a freelancer received a traffic citation. While the traffic violation took place near the jury van, the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them,” adding “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”

Jury intimidation has been an ongoing concern in the Rittenhouse case. Earlier this month, a man named Cortez Rice, who considers himself an ‘honorary nephew of George Floyd’ posted a video in which he threatened to dox the jurors if they don’t convict Rittenhouse. Cortez claimed he knows people taking photographs of the jurors.

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