The nation is currently on edge, awaiting the verdict in the trail of Kyle Rittenhouse – a young man who traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin from his neighboring home state of Illinois during a racially-motivated riot, armed with an AR-15 that he would eventually use to end two lives.
His trial, which has largely revolved around the possibility that Rittenhouse was acting in self defense, has been a contentious one. Protesters lined the steps outside the courthouse for days on end, and there have been unsubstantiated rumors that the jury may be having difficulty deliberating out of fear of the damage that their verdict could bring to the local community.
And then there are the fears that these jurors themselves hold regarding retribution against them should their choice anger one mob or the other. This is why MSNBC has now been barred from the courtroom.
The judge presiding over the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial on Thursday banned MSNBC from entering the courthouse after police in Kenosha, Wis., stopped and briefly detained a freelance producer who authorities suggested was following a bus transporting the 12-person jury deliberating the teen’s fate.
The jury concluded its third day of deliberations late Thursday afternoon following the announcement and will resume Friday morning.
Judge Bruce Schroeder said that Kenosha police pulled over a person who identified himself as James J. Morrison on Wednesday night after he ran a red light about a block behind the jury bus. Schroeder said that Morrison told police he was a producer with NBC News and MSNBC and had been instructed by his supervisor, Irene Byon, to follow the bus.
Schroeder was incensed.
“I’ve instructed that no one from MSNBC News will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Schroeder said. “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 the jury bus, that’s an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities.”
The perceived threats to the jury have conjured calls for a mistrial already, and any more funny business from the mainstream media may just push Judge Schroeder over the edge.