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Rittenhouse judge bans MSNBC from courthouse after producer allegedly followed and tried to photograph jurors

Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images

The presiding judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse case banned MSNBC from the courthouse on Thursday after alleging that a producer who works for the cable outlet followed jurors exiting the courthouse and attempted to photograph them.

What are the details?

According to Kenosha News, Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder said in court Thursday morning that the suspect identified himself as "James J. Morrison, who claimed he was a producer with NBC News, employed by MSNBC."

"The jury in this case is being transported from a different location in a bus with windows covered so that they aren't exposed to anything on one side or the other," the judge explained, adding, "That's been done every day."

Morrison, according to Schroeder, had been following the sealed jury bus and ran a red light to keep pace, and that's when he was pulled over by police and questioned. Morrison allegedly stated that he was working under the supervision of a New York producer for MSNBC named Irene Byon.

The Kenosha Police Department confirmed some of the details of the allegations on Twitter late Thursday morning, noting that the individual suspected of photographing jurors was taken into custody and issued "several traffic-related citations." The department added that no photographs were obtained and that the investigation remains open.

What else?

In response to the allegation, NBC News appeared to confirm that the journalist was working for the network but claimed the individual in question was a "freelancer" and was not intentionally following the jury.

"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," the network said in a statement.

Kenosha News originally reported that "Channel 5 Chicago (NBC) confirmed that an NBC producer was the party involved Thursday morning."

That line has since been removed from the outlet's report without any note or subsequent explanation.

Anything else?

Schroeder reportedly announced that nobody else from MSNBC News "will be permitted" in the Kenosha County Courthouse "for the duration of this trial."

"This is a very serious matter and I don't know what the ultimate truth of it is," he added. "But absolutely, it would go without much thinking that someone who is following a jury bus, that is a very serious, extremely serious matter, and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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