Police escort Rev. William Barber out of Greenville movie theater

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Greenville police confirm that a movie theatre asked a well-known civil rights activist and church leader to leave the building after a dispute involving seating.

Lt. Justin Wooten says officers were called to the AMC Fire Tower 12 around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday for a trespassing call.

Wooten says the two officers were there for a customer arguing with staff.

That customer was Rev. William Barber, the president of the North Carolina NAACP from 2006 until 2017.

Wooten says Barber left the theatre with no issues.

Barber, who leads the congregation at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, told WITN he was at the theatre to see the movie, “The Color Purple,” with his elderly mother.

He says he has a medical condition, making it impossible for him to sit in a regular chair due to pain in his hips. Barber walks with two canes, and his assistant carries a special chair so he can sit everywhere he goes.

Barber tells WITN that he tried to use the special chair in the handicapped section of the theater, and he was told by staff he couldn’t do that.

WITN has reached out to the AMC Theatre and we’re still waiting to hear back from the company.

Barber tells us he is holding a press conference tomorrow to address the situation.