MSNBC correspondent Mariana Atencio and her camera crew set up their live shot outside of an early voting facility in Texas. The problem: they took up two handicap spots and a handicap loading zone at the facility, which forced the disabled to park elsewhere, the Washington Examiner reported.
Disabled veteran James Berrie and his wife showed up to vote when they discovered MSNBC in the only van accessible parking spot in the lot. The couple was forced to park in the back with other cars. Because of the lack of space, Berrie had a difficult time manuring his wheel chair and ramp.
“They should know better,” Berrie told KHOU. “I didn’t even know what to do or to say because I was just shocked."
Berrie said the crewe agreed to move but after the couple came out from voting 15 minutes later, they were still there. They confronted the crew again, this time with a group of firefighters and nothing changed.
“They had made no effort whatsoever to move. Their job is more important than accessibility. There were so many other places to do (their live shot). But you chose to do it here. We’re like, 'No. We gotta stand up,'" Berrie explained. “(The MSNBC crew) kept coming back like we’ll move in two minutes. We’ll move in like three minutes. We’re going live. We’ve got a shot. We’re going live in like three minutes. We gotta do this and we’re just like, 'No. You have to move. It’s not right. You know it’s not right.'”
He took pictures of the scene and shared them on Facebook to make people aware of the scenario and remind the news media that things like this are a serious problem.
Antencio took to Twitter to apologize for the scene:
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
Berrie took to Facebook again, to let Antencio know he isn't looking for an apology but would be open to having a conversation about what took place.
“I’m glad that she realized that,” Berrie said. “I’m hopeful that in the future it won’t happen again.”