Black man says he was kicked out of hotel lobby for talking to his mom on cell phone
#LivingWhileBlack apparently strikes again, this time at a Portland, DoubleTree hotel at which an African American man he was profiled
A Black man in Portland is upset and believes he was racially profiled while standing in the lobby of a hotel while talking to his mom on his cell phone, Yahoo! News reports.
In what seems to be another case of #LivingWhileBlack, Jermaine Massey said he was “treated unfairly” and ultimately removed from the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel after a security guard found his presence offensive.
Massey said he was in the area to attend a Travis Scott concert and had booked a room at the DoubleTree and had his key in hand when a guard approached him and started asking questions.
Massey, a Black man, said the security guard, who was white and identified in the video as “Earl,” told him he was loitering as he stood in the hotel lobby to take a call from his mother, who he said lives on the East Coast. Massey said he thought the call might be an emergency. But as he began talking, Earl approached him and things got heated pretty fast, he said in an Instagram post.
Earl reportedly asked Massey if he was a guest at the hotel to which he responded:
“I said, ‘I’m having a conversation right now. Can you leave me alone right now?’”
Earl then informed him that he planned to call the cops since Massey failed to comply.
“He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing,” Massey said.
In the video which has been circulating widely on social media, Earl says: “The Portland police will be here in a minute.”
Massey asks why. Earl replies, “to escort you off of the property.”
“Because what? And I’m staying here?” Massey says back.
“Not anymore,” Earl replies.
Massey said a hotel manager named Luis, who was called to intervene failed to help gain clarity of the situation.
Massey asked the manager why he was calling the police. “I was just asked to,” he responded “So you’re just going to follow directions? You’re not going to ask questions before you call the cops on me?” Massey asks. “If you could just calm down,” the manager is heard saying. He then asks what the issue was about.
Massey is stunned by the manager’s willingness to blindly follow Earl’s orders.
Massey is confronted by police and tries to explain himself before an officer says: “Earl’s in control of the property.”
Massey writes, “I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it. 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.”
Massey retrieved his belongings from his room and says he was not issued a refund.
He sounded off about the confrontation with Earl and wondered if his race and even his clothes, a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers, made him a target too.
“I was sitting in the lobby, minding my business, taking a phone call,” he concluded.
“He questioned me, thinking I was not a legitimate patron at the hotel. … It wasn’t right.”
Massey said his mom remained on the phone and added his wife to the call to hear it too.
“Racism is still alive and well, man,” Massey said in a video shot in his Sheraton hotel room. “It’s sad that people have to go through these things. And I know I’m not the only one, I’m not the first and I’m not the last. But I will not stand for injustice.”
“I could have gone to jail had I responded a different way,” he said.
According to The Oregonian, Paul Peralta, general manager of the DoubleTree tried to reach out to Massey. He released this statement in response to the incident:
“Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland. This unfortunate incident is likely the result of a misunderstanding between our hotel and guest. We are sorry that this matter ended the way it did. We are place of public accommodation and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.”