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Rittenhouse judge bans MSNBC from courthouse after person allegedly tried to photograph jurors

Kenosha Protest Shootings
Posted at 11:32 AM, Nov 18, 2021

KENOSHA — Kenosha police suspect a person alleging to be affiliated with a national media outlet tried to take photos of the jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Kenosha PD tweeted Thursday morning that last night, the person was briefly taken into custody and was issued several traffic-related citations.

"There was no breach of security regarding the jury, nor were there any photographs obtained," the department tweeted. KPD continues to investigate the incident.

Thursday late morning the judge addressed Kenosha PD's report. The judge confirmed that Wednesday evening the person was instructed by an Irene Byon who works in New York for MSNBC/NBC to follow the bus the jurors were in. The judge said the matter is very serious and nobody from MSNBC will be allowed in court for the remainder of trial.

MSNBC and NBC are owned by NBCUniversal, which in turn is a a subsidiary of Comcast. TMJ4 News is not a part of the companies. According to a statement from an NBC News spokesperson:

“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.”

This isn't the first time the identity of the jurors has made headlines. Last Friday, when the prosecution and the defense were making closing statements, social media posts alleged someone had revealed online they were a juror in the Rittenhouse case.

Since no jurors have been removed from the case since then, the rumor likely is false.

It is of the utmost importance for the court to conceal the identities of jurors from the public so that jurors can approach the case from a position of neutrality. There are currently 12 jurors deliberating the case as well as six jurors who have attended the entire trial but are not deliberating.

Earlier in the trial one juror was dismissed for making a joke about the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Another juror was dismissed over reported discomfort.

Police did not mention which media outlet the person allegedly posed to be with.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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