Body camera footage shows Kenosha police confronting NBC producer during Rittenhouse trial
Police in Kenosha, Wis., have released body camera footage from officers who stopped a freelance producer for NBC News during the Kyle Rittenhouse trial because the journalists was allegedly following the jury bus.
“What’s the significance of you being here?” an officer is seen asking the producer on the body camera footage obtained by LawandCrime.com.
“I work for NBC,” the man, later identified as a freelancer for the network, replies.
Police ask the producer if he was trying to follow a vehicle.
“I was being called by New York, going maybe these are people you need to follow but I don’t know,” he said. “I was trying to …”
“You were trying to what?” the officer interjects.
“Just do what they told me to do,” the producer replied.
The freelance producer then offered to call NBC News offices in New York and put an NBC staffer, who identified herself as a booking producer with the network, on the phone.
“We were just respectfully … trying to see … if we could find any … leads about the case,” she told the officer over the phone. “By no means were we trying to get in contact with any of the jury members or whoever is in the car. We’re just trying to see like where key players in the trial may be at.”
“We’re going to ask you guys to not do that,” the officer later tells the booking producer. “That’s the concern here. This is huge. We can’t afford anything crazy happening, putting people in dangerous positions.”
The Kenosha News reported during the trail that a producer for MSNBC was arrested after he allegedly tried to take photos of jurors. Police said at the time that no photos of any jurors were actually taken, but the individual was taken in for violating a traffic control signal.
The next day, the judge presiding over Rittenhouse’s murder trial barred MSNBC News journalists from the courtroom for the remainder of the trial, citing the incident.
“I have instructed that nobody from MSNBC News be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial,” Judge Bruce 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 a jury bus, that is a very … that is an extremely serious matter and will be referred to the proper authorities for further action.”
After Schroeder’s ruling, NBC News issued a statement saying, “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,” the network said.
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