MSNBC has been banned from the remainder of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial after one of their employees allegedly followed the jury bus on Wednesday evening.
Judge Bruce Schroeder called the matter “deeply disturbing.”
“I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building,” Schroeder said. “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 was following a jury bus … that is an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities.”
Kenosha News reports that the employee, James J. Morrison, was one of the network’s producers. Kenosha Police announced earlier in the day that a man was taken into custody after attempting to photograph jurors.
Channel 5 Chicago (NBC) also stated that a producer was the party involved on Thursday morning.
Morrison said that he was acting on orders of his boss in New York, identified as Irene Byon. The woman he named is a producer at MSNBC, according to her LinkedIn, which she has now deleted.
Irene Byon, implicated in instructing a reported to follow the Jury Bus has nuked her Linkedin
Court TV reporter claims to know Morrison
This is looking legit like MSNBC tried to expose the jurors identites pic.twitter.com/oEmDi0hxsT
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) November 18, 2021
MSNBC’s coverage of the trial has been heavily biased. Host Joy Reid recently made headlines for her mockery of the teenager crying during his testimony — and referring to him as a vigilante.
“But in America, there’s a thing about both white vigilantism and white tears, particularly male white tears. Really white tears in general, because, that’s what Karens are, right?” Reid asked. “They can Karen out and then as soon as they get caught, bring waterworks.”
The jury is currently in the midst of deliberations, which began on Monday.
The 12 jurors selected to decide the teenager’s fate include seven women and five men.
The eighteen year old is facing first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety for shooting three people, two of them fatally, during a riot in Kenosha last August.
Rittenhouse maintains that he had been acting in self defense, as he was in imminent danger.
UPDATE: Though several outlets have stated that Morrison was a producer, a statement issued by MSNBC says that he was a “freelancer.”
Their statement read:
“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,” the statement said. “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”