By Ivy Brown
KENOSHA, Wis. (Court TV) — The Kenosha Police Department has released bodycam footage of an incident that led news organization MSNBC to be banned from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
James Morrison, who claimed to be a producer for NBC, was stopped by Kenosha police officers on Nov. 17, for a traffic violation. He was seen running a red light while allegedly following the jury bus after their second day of deliberations.
In the bodycam video, Morrison tells officers the company’s New York office told him to follow the unmarked vehicle. He says it “was discreet” and he “wasn’t going to talk to anybody or anything…just trying to find a location.”
He then calls NBC booking producer Irene Byon and hands the phone to Ofc. Jerel Jones, who asks her why Morrison is following the bus. Byon tells them they were “keeping (their) distance just to see where people involved in the trial are positioned,” adding they were not attempting to contact the jury.
Byon and Morrison are heard apologizing after Ofc. Jones tells them to stop following the bus. Morrison was issued a traffic citation for running a red light. The following morning, Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder banned MSNBC News from the trial.
NBC News said 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.”
Two days after the incident, the jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges.