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Law enforcement in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have released body camera footage from an incident involving an NBC producer accused of following the jury out of the courthouse during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. And, in short, it doesn't make the network look good.
What are the details?
The footage picks up during a traffic stop on Nov. 17, after police pulled over alleged freelance producer James Morrison for running a red light near the sealed jury bus.
In the video, posted to Youtube by Law & Crime, a police officer who introduces himself as Officer Jones asks Morrisson, "Were you following a vehicle?"
Morrisson, who described himself as a producer for NBC, responded nervously by saying, "I was trying to see — I was being called by New York, going maybe these are the people you need to follow, but I don't know ... I was trying to ... just do what they told me to do."
The producer went on to confirm that it was a booking producer in New York — and not an affiliate of Chicago or Milwaukee — that had given him instructions to follow the jurors during their break from deliberations.
"How did they know about this vehicle?" Jones asked.
Morrison replied, "I don't know," and then tried to reassure officers by saying, "I mean it was discreet, I wasn't like gonna talk to anybody or anything, just trying to find a location, that's all."
Kyle Rittenhouse Trial: RAW BodyCam Footage of NBC Producer Following Jury Vehiclewww.youtube.com
Officer Jones then requested that Morrisson call his contact in New York so that she could be questioned. He agreed and dialed Irene Byon, who described herself as a booking producer for NBC News.
"We're trying to figure out what's going on here, why you have a reporter or a producer following vehicles out here," Jones then said.
"We were just trying to ... respectfully just trying to ... see if it's possible to find any leads about the case, and so we were ... we were just keeping our distance, just to see where people involved in the trial are positioned," Byon answered, fumbling over her words.
She added, "By no means were we trying to get in contact with any of the jury members or whoever is in the car, we just were trying to see where key players in the trial may be at."
The Kenosha Police Department confirmed the incident on Twitter the following morning, noting that Morrisson was suspected of attempting to photograph jurors, but was stopped by police and issued "several traffic related citations."
News of the incident resulted in Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder banning NBC News from the courthouse for the remainder of the trial.
At the time, NBC News issued a statement saying, "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."
Ultimately, no jury tampering charges were filed since any alleged efforts to photograph or otherwise expose the identities of the jury were thwarted.
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