Staff at a DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregan, reportedly called the police on a Black hotel guest for taking a phone call in the lobby last week.
Jermaine Massey, 34, was visiting Portland for a concert on Saturday and was on his way back to his hotel room after the show when he received a phone call. It was from his mother, and it was a family emergency, according to the Independent. Massey took a seat in a secluded part of the hotel lobby for privacy to talk with her.
According to Massey, a white security guard approached him while he was talking on the phone and asked him if he was a guest, and Massey said he was. When the guard, named Earl, prompted him for his room number, Massey told him he was on a phone call and didn’t remember the number off the top of his head. In response, Earl called the police.
In the videos posted by Massey on Instagram, he questions Earl and manager, Louis, about why they’re doing this. When he tells the guard that he’s staying at the hotel he responds, “not anymore.”
View this post on Instagram
Tonight I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree. The security guard “Earl” decided that he would call the police on me, the exact reason is still unclear to me. He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing and said that I was a disturbance because I took a personal phone call from my mom in a more remote area of the lobby. The manager who actually called the cops, “Luis” actually asked me AFTER he called the cops, what happened? They already had in their minds that they didn’t want me there so I waited for the cops to show up and when they did, I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it. They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them. They told me that since the hotel requested me to leave, that if I didn’t I would be considered a trespasser and would be thrown in jail. I complied and cooperated and was not issued a refund for my room. I packed my stuff and went to another hotel. I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel. I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, he knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way. Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed. I will be seeking justice. Believe that. @doubletree @doubletreepdx @hiltonhonors #hilton #hiltonhotels #racism #racisminamerica #racismisreal @shaunking
When Massey points out all the other people in the lobby who the guard hasn’t questioned, Earl says it is because they’re not loitering. Massey asks if the area is off limits and Earl responds that it is if you’re not a guest. Massey takes out his room information to show them that he is.
Even though Massey had proof that he was a guest of the hotel, the police told him that because Earl had told him to leave he was now trespassing. Faced with that threat, Massey went to find a different hotel and had to pay in full for the DoubleTree.
Massey says he feels he was racially profiled because he was the only person in the room the guard even questioned. “He knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way,” Massey said on Instagram. “I will be seeking justice. Believe that.”
A manager for the Portland DoubleTree told the Oregonian that they are working to resolve the matter with Massey, and characterized the incident as a “misunderstanding.”
H/T Indy 100
This post originally appeared on The Daily Dot.