An MSNBC reporter is coming under fire after her crew blocked two handicap parking spots with their equipment while filming a live shot last week.
An Air Force veteran who was going to vote early last Tuesday explained that he arrived at the poll location and was unable to park in a handicap spot because MSNBC reporter Mariana Atencio was blocking the spot.
The veteran, James Berrie, was forced to park in a separate location — and as he walked into the poll location, he told the crew they needed to move. Unfortunately, as he was leaving he discovered they were still taking up the spots.
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“Went to vote, and found this waiting for us,” Berrie wrote alongside a photo of the MSNBC crew in the handicap parking spots.
Different kind of voter suppression. EDIT: Thank you all for your support. This has gotten bigger than I thought, but…
“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,” he continued.
Berrie explained that the crew only packed up their equipment and left after several people walked into their live shot and “did not back down.”
The veteran’s post has gone viral on Facebook without 2,000 shares — and Antencio has finally responded.
She wrote on Twitter last week, “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.”
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
Ironically, she made no mention about how she refused to vacate the spots until after she got her live shot.
Berrie spoke with WXIA-TV following the incident and explained he was glad Atencio apologized, and is “hopeful that in the future it won’t happen again.”
Handicap spots are not loading zones, or for camera crews to take their perfect live shot — they are meant to be used by people who actually need the spot.
–Kylie Handler is a news editor for The Horn News