A hotel in Portland, Ore., said it has terminated two employees who were captured on video evicting a black guest.
Videos of the Dec. 22 incident at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland were posted on Instagram by Jermaine Massey — the guest who was evicted after he made a phone call to his mother while he was in the hotel’s lobby — and have since garnered national attention. A security guard is seen in the video telling Massey that he is loitering and that police are coming to “escort him off the property.”
“Portland police will be here in a minute,” the guard says.
“Why are they coming?” Massey asks, before telling the guard he’s a guest at the hotel.
“Not anymore,” the guard responds.
Massey alleges he was racially profiled and discriminated against by the security guard and a manager at the hotel who was also captured on video. He’s seen showing the manager and security guard a ticket containing his room number that he received after checking in.
“He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing and that I was a disturbance because I took a personal phone call from my mom in a more remote area of the lobby,” Massey wrote in the post. He was dealing with a family emergency at time, Massey says in the video.
“I will be seeking justice,” he wrote. “Believe that.”
Massey’s lawyers in a statement Thursday condemned the situation, adding that Massey was “calling his mother while black.” His attorneys said the manager called Portland police, who told Massey that the hotel “demanded he be arrested for [trespassing] if he did not leave the premises.”
“This story has caught the public imagination because it presents all the ugliest elements of racial profiling in modern America: the arrogance of power, the disrespect for the dignity of black Americans and the hollowness of corporate response to casual corporate racism,” lawyer Gregory Kafoury told the Oregonian.
In a series of tweets, DoubleTree Portland apologized to Massey and called the incident “unfortunate.” The hotel announced Saturday that the employees involved in his “mistreatment” had been terminated.
“Their actions were inconsistent with our standards & values,” the tweet read. “We reiterate our sincere apology for what he endured & will work with diversity experts to ensure this never happens again.”
Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon Friday, Massey called the experience hurtful and humiliating.
“I’m a person at the end of the day, just like everyone else, and I deserve respect and fair treatment, and I did not receive that on Saturday,” Massey said.
The DoubleTree chain of hotels is part of Hilton Worldwide Holdings, which is based in McLean, Va. Like many of the DoubleTree hotels, the Portland property is independently owned and operated by a franchise holder.