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Rittenhouse Trial Judge Bans MSNBC, Court Investigating Man Caught Following Jury Bus

Judge Bruce Schroeder gestures during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial in Kenosha Circuit Court in Kenosha, Wis., November 5, 2021. (Mark Hertzberg/Pool via Reuters)

The judge in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse banned MSNBC staff from the Kenosha courthouse following a police report that one of their journalists attempted to follow a bus transporting jury members.

Judge Bruce Schroeder announced that Kenosha police informed the court that they stopped a man following the bus, because he was “following at a distance of about a block and went through a red light.” The jury for the Rittenhouse trial is transported to and from the courthouse in a bus with covered windows, in order to prevent them from seeing protest signs outside the court, Schroeder explained.

The man stopped by police identified himself as James J. Morrison, and told officers that he was a news producer employed by MSNBC, according to Schroeder. Morrison then stated that he had been instructed by an MSNBC producer in New York to follow the bus.

“The matter is under further investigation at this point,” Schroeder said.

“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Schroeder added. “It would go without thinking that someone who is following a jury bus—that’s an extremely serious matter, and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”

NBC News confirmed in a statement that one of their freelancers received a traffic citation near the bus on Wednesday night, but denied that the journalist was attempting to photograph or contact members of the jury.

“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,” NBC said. “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”

National Review has reached out to MSNBC for comment.

Rittenhouse was charged with homicide after shooting three people, killing two, during riots in Kenosha last summer following a police shooting. Rittenhouse claims he acted in self-defense.

Schroeder has already criticized media coverage of the trial.

“When I talked about problems with the media when this trial started, we’re there in part…not fully, but in part because of grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial,” Schroeder said on Wednesday.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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