The DoubleTree Portland hotel has fired two staff members, after they were caught on video evicting an African-American guest who was using his phone in the lobby.
Jermaine Massey, 34, was accused of “loitering” by a security guard, who told him police had been called to “escort him off the property”.
Mr Massey, who was returning a call from his mother, explained that he was a guest at the Oregon hotel.
“Not any more,” the guard replied.
The security guard, named in US media as Earl Meyers, told Mr Massey that he was a threat to security and would be asked to leave if he could not provide a room number.
Mr Massey’s lawyer, Greg Kafoury, said his client had showed the security guard his key card. He said Mr Massey’s only crime had been “calling his mother while black”.
The lawyer said a manager at the hotel, also captured on video, had called the police. T
Mr Massey was led to his room to collect his possessions and escorted off the premises by officers. He was reportedly told he could file a complaint with the hotel later.
Mr Massey posted phone footage showing parts of the 22 December encounter on social media.
“I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby,”
he wrote on Twitter
On 29 December, the DoubleTree hotel chain, which is owned by Hilton, tweeted that it has “zero tolerance for racism” and “deeply apologizes to Mr Massey”.
It stressed that the Portland hotel was “working with diversity and inclusion experts”.
Several social media users criticised the slowness of the hotel’s response, which came a week after the incident, and accused it of apologising for PR purposes.
Mr Massey’s lawyers have asked the hotel to:
“explain in detail in what manner [he] was a threat to safety or security”,
and said they were:
“investigating similar reports from other Hilton hotels”.
First Published 30.12.18: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46718133