A man who claimed to be a producer with MSNBC news was apprehended by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last night, after he was caught following the bus carrying the Rittenhouse jurors to their homes.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said Thursday that the man identified himself to police as James J. Morrison, and that he reported to a person named Irene Byon.
“The jury in this case is being transported from a different location in a bus with windows covered,” the judge said, explaining that the windows are sealed so the jurors aren’t exposed to the protesters’ signs outside the courthouse. Schroeder said the MSNBC reporter was stopped by police after he ran a red light to keep up with the police.
According to the judge, Morrison told police that he had been instructed by Byon, an NBC News booking producer, to follow the jury bus. (Update: Byon quickly deleted her LinkedIn profile and Twitter account after this story broke).
Schroeder went on to say that the matter is under investigation, and that no one working for MSNBC will be allowed back inside the courthouse for the duration of the trial.
The judge told the court that “this is an extremely serious matter,” and it will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.
NOW – Person allegedly from NBC/MSNBC was instructed to follow the jury bus in the #Rittenhouse trial. Judge orders to exclude the two news outlets from the trial pending further investigation. pic.twitter.com/OLFDI4yfog
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 18, 2021
In a statement, NBC News claimed that the individual was a freelancer, and confirmed that he had received a traffic citation. The news outlet did not deny that the producer was following the jury van—only that the traffic violation had taken place near the van.
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 News statement: "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" (1/2)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 18, 2021
According to reports, two jurors have been holding up a not-guilty verdict out of concerns about a backlash.
According to Human Events reporter Jack Posobiec, a US Marshal in Kenosha said the pair are worried that the media will leak their names, putting their lives, and the lives of their loved ones in danger. Reportedly, a number of anarchist groups have overtly threatened to dox the jurors.
Last week, a Black Lives Matter agitator with links to the New Black Panther Party, claimed to know that activists were in the courtroom taking pictures of the jurors in the trial. A few days later, Judge Bruce Schroeder informed the jury that someone had been caught taking pictures of them.
“This morning at the pickup there was someone there [who] was video recording the jury—which the officers approached the person and required him … to delete the video, and returned the phone to him,” Schroeder said. “I’ve instructed if it happens again they [police] are to take the phone, and bring it here,” the judge added.
Last April, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune was blasted after it released revealing biographical information about all twelve jurors plus the two alternates in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was ultimately found guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020.
There have been ongoing demonstrations with sporadic violence outside the courthouse, as the anti-Rittenhouse mob clash with his supporters.
Yesterday, two agitators were arrested for assaulting Rittenhouse supporters.
Man wearing a “F— Kyle” shirt calls a woman a “cum dumpster” & hits her outside the #Kenosha courthouse. He then attacks another person & tries to cover his face and hits a photographer. #BLM #Rittenhouse. Video by @RebsBrannon: pic.twitter.com/3Bt1nmTtUw
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 17, 2021
Breaking: The second belligerent anti-#Rittenhouse protester arrested outside the #Kenosha courthouse is local #BLM leader, Shaquita Lashia Cornelious, who crossed state lines from Zion, Ill. She is the co-chair of BLM Lake County, IL. pic.twitter.com/4cSCdED7Jy
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 18, 2021
On Thursday afternoon, while the jury was still deliberating, a man reportedly armed with a knife was arrested outside the courthouse, the Post Millennial reported.
More video of the detainment and arrest of armed masked person by videographer @BGOnTheScene, who was in #Kenosha last year capturing some of the most important videos that corporate mainstream press didn’t bother to document. pic.twitter.com/0CZgd2qSv0
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 18, 2021
The jury appears to be deadlocked according to Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards:
Mark Richards, a lawyer for Kyle Rittenhouse, tells me and @juliebosman what he thought when he looked at the 12 jurors today as they were about to head home for a third night with no verdict.
"I thought, they're 6-6 split. That’s what I thought."https://t.co/idH7k0hiaB
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) November 18, 2021