A disabled civil rights leader was escorted out of an AMC Theater in Greenville, North Carolina, due to his private accommodations earlier this week.
Tuesday, Reverend William J. Barber II, 60, and his 90-year-old mother to see “The Color Purple.” Barber brought his own chair to the theater because he suffers from a rare form of arthritis known as osteoarthritis Sclerotic spondylitisIt is an inflammatory disease that makes it difficult for him to sit or get up from low chairs. Barber said he placed his chair in a section for guests with disabilities, but theater staff deemed it a “fire hazard,” he said. During a press conference Friday.
“Our plans were halted when AMC theater managers here in Greenville chose to call the police rather than accommodate my apparent disability,” he said.
according to NBC Newsa Greenville police supervisor arrived at the scene after receiving a phone call about trespassing and a patron who was “arguing with employees, and they wanted to put them out of business.”
During the press conference, Barber stressed that using words like “argumentative” and “trespassing” to describe a Black man “could have led to bad results in the wrong hands.” While he believes it “should never be a police escalation situation,” the former president of the North Carolina NAACP said the police officer handled the matter well when he arrived.
in video Posted on Facebook the same day of the incident, Barber can be heard agreeing to leave the theater after the officer asked him to do so. Just off stage, Barber is seen shaking hands with the officer, who later apologizes to Barber at the end of the video. As the secretary left the building, he reiterated that his chair had gone with him to places like the White House and Broadway shows.
Barber said during the press conference that the Chief of the Greenville Police Department contacted Barber and asked to meet him and talk about the situation. The administration did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment.
According to ABC11AMC apologized to Barber on Wednesday and said it plans to review its policies “to ensure situations like this do not happen again.”
“We sincerely apologize to Bishop Barber for the way he was treated, and for the frustration and inconvenience caused to him, his family and his guests,” the statement read. statement is reading.
“AMC welcomes guests with disabilities. We have a number of accommodations in our theaters at all times, and our theater teams work hard to accommodate guests who have needs that fall outside the normal course of business. We encourage guests who require special seating to speak with a manager in advance to find out what may be possible.” Be better accommodated in the theater to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the guest and those around them.
Barber said during the news conference that he forgave AMC Theaters and would not press charges. He also plans to meet with AMC Chairman and CEO Adam Aron next week in Greenville to discuss the situation.
“We plan to speak widely,” Barber said.
“Web maven. Infuriatingly humble beer geek. Bacon fanatic. Typical creator. Music expert.”