Portland Hilton DoubleTree fires 2 workers for calling police on black hotel guest

by Kim Boateng Posted on December 30th, 2018

The DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon, fired two workers who were involved in calling police on a black man who was a guest in the hotel.

Jermaine Massey was talking to his mother on his cell phone in the hotel’s lobby on Dec. 22 when he was approached by a security guard, Earl Meyers, according to the police report. Massey recorded the interaction on a video he posted to Instagram, which later went viral.

The hotel on Saturday said it was firing Meyers and another employee, saying their actions were “inconsistent with our standards.”

“In that moment when Earl approached me, I was blindsided,” Massey told ABC News. “I was handling a personal family call and I was a little shocked that he approached me when I was on a call. I wasn’t disturbing anyone, but I confirmed his question and then he continually harassed me about it. … I feel like I was being interrogated. And I just didn’t feel like I was being respected.”

Massey said he felt like his race was the determining factor in what he said was a “humiliating” incident.

“The reason I feel like I was singled out is because of my race,” Massey said. “And the other folks in the video, as you can see, were white. I’m black, African-American, and that’s the only justification I have. I have no other way to explain why I was selected out of all the people in the hotel to be questioned that night.”

The hotel did not specifically mention race in its announcement of the two employees’ firings.

“We have terminated the employment of the two men involved in the mistreatment of Mr. Massey. Their actions were inconsistent with our standards & values. We reiterate our sincere apology for what he endured & will work with diversity experts to ensure this never happens again,” the hotel tweeted Saturday.

Massey’s encounter is the latest example of white citizens calling police on black people doing ordinary things like shopping or being in a dorm at their college.

These incidents, often documented by smartphone videos, have given examples of racial profiling a broad audience.

(MORE: Man accused of racial profiling after calling police on black family at private pool)
Massey’s lawyer, Greg Kafoury, told ABC News that Massey had checked into the hotel, gone out to dinner across the street and gone to a Travis Scott concert that evening. His mother called him after 11 p.m. because of a family problem, Kafoury said.

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