MSNBC banned from Rittenhouse trial after jury bus incident

A national journalist was reportedly following the jury bus.
Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse arrives after the lunch break at his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court,...
Defendant Kyle Rittenhouse arrives after the lunch break at his trial in Kenosha Circuit Court, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Kenosha, Wis. (Mark Hertzberg/Pool Photo via AP)(Mark Hertzberg/ZUMA Press Wire | AP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 12:01 PM CST
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KENOSHA, Wis. (WMTV) - The Kenosha Police Department launched an investigation into a national journalist who reportedly told police officers he was trailing the sealed bus meant to transport jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The department revealed the inquiry Thursday morning, noting that investigators believe the individual was trying to photograph jurors. Shortly after tweets were sent, Judge Bruce Schroeder assembled Rittenhouse and the lawyers for both sides into the courtroom where he provided more information.

According to Schroeder, the journalist identified himself as James J. Morrison and told police he was working for NBC News’ cable news network MSNBC. He claimed he was instructed by someone with MSNBC in New York to follow the bus.

Afterwards, NBC News released a statement that described Morrison as a freelancer and denied that he was intending to photograph jurors.

“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,” the statement read. NBC News went on to say that it regretted the incident and intended to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Schroeder indicated officers stopped Morrison when he allegedly ran a red light. At that point, Morrison reportedly told officers what he was doing. In a pair of tweets, the Kenosha Police Dept. stated that he was “briefly taken into custody” and then issued several traffic-related citations.

The police department assured the public there “was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained.” The tweets added that no other details were going to be released because this is an open investigation, saying that “this incident is being investigated much further.”

Addressing the courtroom, Schroeder noted that MSNBC reporters will no longer be allowed in the courthouse.

To note, NBC15 News, which is owned by Gray Television, is an affiliate of NBC News, which also owns MSNBC.

NBC15 News has dispatched its own reporters to Kenosha to cover the trial. Any of the actions or comments of the judge are not about nor do they reflect our reporters’ coverage.

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