Judge Bruce Schroeder, the Wisconsin judge overseeing the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, officially banned MSNBC from the courthouse on Thursday after an employee of the network was pulled over by authorities while tailing the jury’s sealed bus.
Schroeder explained the situation to the courtroom after receiving a report that police on Wednesday night had detained and ticketed a man claiming to be a producer for MSNBC.
Police pulled the man over after he ran a red light while following the jury’s bus from about a block away, Schroeder said.
“The jury in this case is being transported from a different location in a bus with the windows covered so that they aren’t exposed to any signs by one side or another or interests in the case, so I’m going to call it a sealed bus, and that’s been done every day and they’re brought here to this building,” the judge said.
Schroeder went on to explain that a person claiming to be a producer at the left-wing network did so under orders from a higher-up in New York.
“Police, when they stopped him because he was following at a distance of about a block and went through a red light, pulled him over and inquired of him what was going on. He gave that information and stated that he had been instructed … to follow the jury bus,” Schroeder said.
“The matter is under further investigation at this point, and the media has asked questions about it. That’s the latest I have,” he continued. “He was ticketed for violating a traffic control signal. He is not here today, from what I’m told, and I have instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial.”
Schroeder added that the matter would be referred to the “proper authorities” for further investigation.
“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 who is following a jury bus, that’s an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action,” Schroeder said.
NBC News attempted to protect themselves with a claim that the employee was simply a freelancer with a camera who never intended to photograph the jurors.
The network told CNN in a 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. We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
Schroeder’s announcement followed a statement from the Kenosha Police Department released on Twitter detailing the incident on Wednesday night in which police arrested and ticketed a man they suspected was attempting to snap photographs of the Rittenhouse jury.
“Last night a person who is alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet was briefly taken into custody and issued several traffic related citations. Police suspect this person was trying to photograph jurors. This incident is being investigated much further,” police said.
“There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained. This investigation remains active and open, no further information.”
Author: Tyler Wickslow