This footage shows the jury bus incident that led to MSNBC being banned from the Kenosha County Courthouse during the murder trial of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.
The Kenosha Police Department in the city of the same name in the US state of Wisconsin released the bodycam footage of the police traffic stop of 62-year-old James Joseph Morrison.
Officers questioned the man, who said he was a producer with NBC News, after he allegedly jumped a red light in suspected pursuit of the bus carrying the 12 anonymous jury members.
The incident led Judge Bruce Schroeder to ban the news channel MSNBC, which provides NBC News coverage, from the Kenosha County Courthouse the following day.
According to the field case report: “On 11/17/21, at approximately 1708 hours, I, Officer Jones-Denson #651 was patrol in full KPD uniform and in fully marked squad #3363 B/W/C Recording. Officer Gaurdiola #537 who was in side an unmarked squad, advised that they needed a vehicle with WI plat #ALX8934, stopped.
“I responded to the 1200 block of County Hwy H and stopped the vehicle. I made contact with the sole occupant who was identified by GA PDL as James J. Morrison. James advised that he was a producer with NBC News and was in town for the Rittenhouse trial. I asked James why was he following an unmarked vehicle. James advised that he was instructed to do so by his boss (Irene Byon) who was in New York.
“I was advised by Lt. Dillhoff to cite James for Violating a red traffic signal and to have him pictured and printed due to him not being from the area. James was taken into custody without incident. James was searched and placed in the rear transport compartment of my squad and transported to the Jail where he was pictured and printed.
“After being pictured and printed, James was transported back to his vehicle that was left parked in a parking lot in the 1200 block of County HWY H. James was issued his citation which was completed by Officer Eakins #693. The citation was explained. James was released from custody.”
In the footage of the stop, the officer can be heard asking Morrison: “Were you following a vehicle?”
Morrison can be heard replying: “I was trying to see — I was being called by New York, going, maybe these are people you need to follow, but I, I don’t know. I was trying to…”
The officer can be heard asking: “You was trying to what?”
Morrison can be heard replying: “Just do what they told me to do.”
The officer can be heard asking: “New York told you to follow a vehicle?”
Morrison can be heard replying: “Yes.”
Morrison is due in court this month for violating a red traffic light. He is not charged with communicating with jurors, as the police stopped him from potentially doing so.
Following the incident, NBC News issued a statement saying: “We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
The trial ended up with Rittenhouse being acquitted of all charges, which included first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
The trial divided the country along party political lines, with a poll finding that two-thirds of Republicans thought he should be acquitted and three-quarters of Democrats thought he should be convicted.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash