The Kenosha, Wisconsin Police Department has released bodycam footage of a traffic stop involving NBC “freelancer” producer James Joseph Morrison after he ran a red light while trying to follow the bus carrying Kyle Rittenhouse jury members during the trial.
Judge Bruce Schroeder made headlines after banning MSNBC from the courtroom for the remainder of the Rittenhouse trial after the Morrison incident.
“I have instructed no one from MSNBC news will be permitted into this building for the duration of this trail,” said Judge Schroeder on November 18. “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 a jury bus… That is a very – an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”
Throughout the interaction with police, both Morrison and New York NBC producer Irene Byon, who was called on the phone, were extremely cautious with their wording.
“Were you following a vehicle?” an officer asked Morrison.
“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…” Morrison stammered.
“Trying to do what,” the officer asked.
Morrison explained that he was just trying to do what New York told him to do, adding, “It was discreet. I wasn’t going to talk to anyone or anything, just trying to find a location. That’s all.”
Next, Morrison offered to call his producer for NBC in New York, Irene Byon, to clear things up.
Byon told the policeman, “We were just trying to respectfully trying to see if it’s possible to find any leads about the case. And, so we were just keeping our distance just to see, like, where people involved in the trial are positioned. By no means were we trying to get into contact with any of the jury members or whoever’s in the car, we were just trying to see where key players in the trial may be at.”
When the officer asked Byon if Morrison was told to follow a specific vehicle, she revealed, “We just had our people positioned in different areas of the courthouse to um, to see if anyone, like, would be able to um… in different areas and so we just had people following different…”
“We’re going to ask you guys to not do that,” the officer responded. “That’s a concern here, this is huge. We can’t afford anything crazy happening, putting people in dangerous positions. This individual violated some traffic laws here doing this, so we’re going to ask you guys to refrain from doing that.”
Focusing on Morrison, the officer asked, “Do you have any ties to this community sir?”
The NBC producer from Georgia awkwardly answered, “I love this community… but the Kenosha community itself, no sir.”
Both Byon and Morrison were extremely apologetic throughout the course of the interaction.
Kenosha Police Lt. Joseph Nosalik told Law&Crime, “Ultimately, there was no arrest for jury tampering because police interrupted any opportunity to do so.”
Morrison will have to go to court for his traffic violation in December.
About the author
Opt-in to subscribe to new article notifications from this category.