KENOSHA, Wis. – Kenosha police say a person claiming to be a producer for MSNBC received a traffic violation ticket after allegedly following a bus carrying jury members for Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial.
In social media posts Thursday morning, the Kenosha Police Department said it believed the man was attempting to photograph the jury members.
Jurors in the case are ferried to and from the courthouse every day in a secure bus with covered windows, so no one can see inside and jurors can’t see signs of protesters who could sway their deliberations.
Police said the man who received a ticket was following the bus and ran a red light before being arrested and questioned about what he was doing. The man said he was acting under the direction of someone from MSNBC in New York.
There were no security breaches on the juror’s bus and no photos were taken, according to police.
In court Thursday morning, Judge Bruce Schroeder said he was taking the case very seriously and was banning MSNBC from the Kenosha County courthouse for the rest of the proceedings.
“It’s a very serious matter and I don’t know what the ultimate truth is, but it wouldn’t go too far to think that someone following the jury bus, it’s a very…extremely serious matter and will be referred to the relevant authorities for further action,” Schroeder said.
In a statement to The Associated Press, NBC News said the man was a freelancer who received a citation for a traffic violation committed near the jury vehicle, and that he “never contacted nor intended to contact the jurors during the deliberations, and never photographed or intended to photograph them.
The statement said the network regrets the incident and will cooperate fully with an investigation, the AP reported.
The trial jury reported to the courthouse for a third day of deliberations around 9 a.m. Thursday, according to court officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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