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NBC News Banned From Rittenhouse Trial, Network Denies Trying to Photograph Jury

Freelancer did not attempt to contact or photograph jury, NBC News says

MSNBC is no longer allowed to have employees in the courtroom during Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial, Judge Bruce Schroeder announced Thursday. The ban on the cable news network comes after an NBC News freelancer received a traffic citation and, Schroeder said, was close to the jury bus. Schroeder expressed concern the journalist was attempting to photograph the jurors in the highly publicized trial, but MSNBC disputes that he was.

The person, according to Schroeder, identified himself as James J. Morrison and was stopped by police when he went through a red light in Wisconsin, where the trial is taking place. Kenosha police confirmed to the local news that someone was arrested. Schroeder said the individual was tailing the jury bus Wednesday night, calling it “a very serious matter.”

“The matter is under further investigation at this point,” said Schroeder during an announcement in the courtroom Thursday. “The media has asked questions about it. That’s the latest I have. He was ticketed for violating a traffic control signal.”

A representative for NBC News told TheWrap, “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.”

Last August, Rittenhouse crossed state lines into Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he shot three and killed two people amid ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The 17-year-old Illinois teenager and self-described militia member was arrested and charged with murder.

The trial and Schroeder’s behavior while overseeing it have generated major media and public speculation and attention in recent days.