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Judge bars MSNBC from court after person is accused of trying to photograph Rittenhouse jurors

Kenosha Protest Shootings
Posted at 11:06 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 16:34:38-05

KENOSHA, Wis. — The Kenosha Police Department suspects a person from a national media outlet tried to take photos of the jurors in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

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

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

The department says it's continuing to investigate the incident.

Late Thursday morning, the judge in the trial addressed the police report. The judge said that the person was instructed by someone who works in New York for MSNBC/NBC. The judge said the matter is very serious and nobody from MSNBC will be allowed in the court for the remainder of the trial.

An NBC News spokesperson released this statement on the matter, denying that the person was trying to take pictures of the jurors.

“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 keep the identities of jurors private 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 for health reasons.

This story was originally published by Jackson Danbeck at WTMJ.