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Judge Schroeder bans MSNBC from courtroom after man who works for network allegedly followed jury bus

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Judge Bruce Schroeder, who is presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, announced on Thursday that staff from MSNBC are banned from entering the Kenosha courthouse during the remainder of the proceedings after one of their employees was caught allegedly following a jury bus.

Schroeder made a brief statement before the court where he addressed the incident involving a man who claimed to be an MSNBC employee who was instructed by a New York producer named Irene Byon to take pictures of the jurors while they were on a bus with blacked-out windows being transported to an undisclosed location. He reportedly ran a red light and was subsequently pulled over and ticketed by police.

“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Schroeder announced. “This is a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth of it is, but absolutely it would go without much thinking that someone who is following the jury bus – that is an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”

“Last evening a person who identified himself as James J. Morrison and who claimed that he was a producer with NBC News… and under the supervision of someone… in New York for MSNBC. The police when they stopped him because he was following in the distance of about a block and went through a red light, pulled him over and inquired of him what was going on and he gave that information,” Schroeder stated. “He stated he had been instructed by [a supervisor] in New York to follow the jury bus.”

The Kenosha Police Department tweeted Thursday, “Last night a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet was briefly taken into custody and issued several traffic related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors.”

“This incident is being investigated much further,” police stated. “There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained. This investigation remains active and open, no further information.”

According to Kenosha News, “Channel 5 Chicago (NBC) confirmed that an NBC producer was the party involved Thursday morning.”

“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. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation,” NBC declared in a statement.

Deputy Managing Editor Nicholas Fondacaro for the Media Research Center also tweeted concerning the judge’s reaction to the media’s reporting on the trial, “NBC Nightly News edits Judge Schroeder’s scathing criticism of the media and their ‘frightening’ coverage of the Rittenhouse case. Reporter Gabe Gutierrez falsely suggested the judge was only talking about general ‘public criticism of the attorneys’ on both sides.”

He added, “Here are Judge Schroeder’s full comments calling out the media for their ‘grossly irresponsible handling of what comes out of this trial.’ He also called the media’s conduct ‘really quite frightening.'”

A member of the media who was allowed in the courtroom during the trial was booted and not allowed back in after they inadvertently took a photo of at least one juror. Those photographs were ordered deleted by the judge according to Kenosha News.

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