Damning police video shows the moment Wisconsin cops stopped an NBC producer who’d been ordered to follow jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial.
The footage released by Kenosha police Tuesday shows an incredulous officer pulling over James Joseph Morrison, a stop that led furious Judge Bruce Schroeder to.
“I work for NBC,” Morrison, 63, immediately explained, saying he was a news producer who flew in from Atlanta.
He was asked if he was “following a vehicle,” with a police reportshowing that he’d allegedly jumped a red light while following the anonymous jurors’ van as it was covered by a SWAT team.
“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,” Morrison explained nervously of the stop mid-trial.
“I was trying to… just do what they told me to do,” he said, confirming that his NBC bosses told him to follow the vehicle.
“I mean, it was discreet … I wasn’t, like, you know, going to talk to anybody or anything. Just trying to find a location, that’s all,” he said.
Asked who made the order, Morrison then called booking producer Irene Byon, whose name was visible on the cell which was on speakerphone while she nervously confirmed Morrison’s instructions.
“We were just keeping our distance, just to see where people involved in the trial are positioned,” Byon told the officer, saying the network had “people positioned in different areas in the courthouse.”
“By no means were we trying to get in contact with any of the jury members or whoever’s in the car,” she claimed.
As Byon remained on speakerphone, the officer gave a blunt message for both.
“We’re going to ask you to not do that,” he told them. “That is a concern here — this is huge. We can’t afford anything crazy happening. Putting people in dangerous positions,” he said.
Byon replied, “Got it, understood … we’re very sorry,” with Morrison also quietly adding, “I’m very sorry.”
Morrison was photographed and cited for violating a red traffic light, according to the police docs. He’s due in court in December.
“Ultimately, there was no arrest for jury tampering because police interrupted any opportunity to do so,” Kenosha Police Lt. Joseph Nosalik told Law&Crime.
In a statement at the time of the arrest, NBC News insisted that Morrison was just a freelancer, without mentioning his orders from staff in NYC.
“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,” the network said.
“We regret the incident and will fully cooperate with the authorities on any investigation.”
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