The judge overseeing the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial banned MSNBC from the courthouse on Thursday after a freelance producer affiliated with the network followed a bus carrying jurors.
Judge Bruce Schroeder issued a brief statement in which he called the incident an “extremely serious matter” that “will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”
“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Judge Schroeder said.
The judge said that the producer, who identified himself as James J. Morrison, told investigators that he was working under a New York-based MSNBC producer and had been instructed to follow the vehicle.
The incident occurred Wednesday outside the courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to multiple reports.
The Kenosha Police Department said in a statement on Twitter that “a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet” was taken into custody Wednesday over several traffic violations. Police said they suspected that the individual was attempting to photograph jurors but said there were no “photographs obtained.”
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“This incident is being investigated much further,” police said.
NBC News confirmed in a statement that a freelance producer from the network had received a traffic citation, but denied that the individual intended 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,” NBC News said in a statement on Thursday. “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
MSNBC did not immediately respond to The Washington Times’ request for comment.