After refusing to move out of a handicapped parking spot outside a polling site in Texas, an MSNBC later reporter apologized.
A disabled Air Force veteran said he went to vote only to find the news crew sprawled across the pavement, blocking two entire handicapped spaces and one handicapped loading zone.
“They should know better,” James Berrie, the veteran, said in a post on Facebook that went viral.
The situation took place at the Bayland Community Center in southwest Houston on Oct. 30.
Different kind of voter suppression. EDIT: Thank you all for your support. This has gotten bigger than I thought, but…
Berrie’s wife was forced to park in a back lot, and the couple had difficulty maneuvering his ramp and power chair because of how regular parking spots are aligned.
“Went to vote, and found this waiting for us. The only van accessible spot and they’re filming in it. We asked them to move, pointed out how it was wrong, then went to vote, because it takes time to load up. But came out and still there. Not even packing up, still getting ready for their shot,” Berrie said.
His wife Sarah then interrupted their live shot.
“They claimed they had a live shot, so Sarah walked into the shot. They cut the feed and got pissed. Fortunately other people joined in, plus firefighters who where there for Prop B. We finally left once their van was loaded,” Berrie added. He said since media will be out in force for the midterms, he wants them to know not to use handicapped spots.
“Figure something else out. Especially at a public event where people are going to need the spots. This is not ok, and the station needs to be made aware. All of them,” he wrote.
We made the wrong call today by using a disabled parking spot for our live shot in TX. There’s no excuse. I apologize to the two people who were on their way to vote as it’s one of the most important parts of our democracy; we’d never want to jeopardize anyone’s ability to do so
— Mariana Atencio (@marianaatencio) October 30, 2018
NBC Reporter Apologizes
Though the network hasn’t commented officially on its latest snafu, the reporter seen in one of the pictures Berrie snapped apologized.
“We made the wrong call today by using a disabled parking spot for our live shot in TX,” Mariana Atencio said via Twitter.
“There’s no excuse. I apologize to the two people who were on their way to vote as it’s one of the most important parts of our democracy; we’d never want to jeopardize anyone’s ability to do so,” she added.
After his Facebook post went viral, Berrie added a paragraph to his original post, saying: “Thank you all for your support. This has gotten bigger than I thought, but that is a good thing. People are talking about this, having the conversation. Please keep going. If you see something, say something.”