A Black man, who was a guest at a Portland, Oregon DoubleTree hotel, accused the hotel’s security guard of racial profiling for calling the police on Sunday to have him removed for loitering.
DoubleTree management dismissed the incident as a misunderstanding on Monday and denied the racial profiling accusation, OregonLive.com reported.
However, many people who looked at Jermaine Massey’s social media posts of the incident agree with his perspective—pointing to similar incidents in which white people have called the cops on African Americans who were doing nothing wrong. Social media users dubbed the security guard #HotelEarl after the name on his badge.
“It just goes to show you that racism is still alive and well man. This was a real incident where I could’ve gone to jail if I responded in a different way,” Massey said in one of his social media posts.
Massey had returned to the hotel on Sunday night after attending a Travis Scott concert. The 34-year-old African-American man, wearing a hoodie, was in the hotel lobby when he noticed that he missed a phone call from his mother. Concerned that it was important, Massey decided to sit in the lobby and return her call before going up to his room.
That’s when the security guard approached and demanded to know if Massey was a guest. Massey couldn’t recall his room number when the guard asked. In the heated exchange, the guard accused Massey of loitering and had a manager call the police, even though Massey was holding his room key card.
Massey noted that white guests were standing in the lobby without the security guard interrogating them.
Massey was angry and loud, according to a police report. Officers told him to check out of the hotel, as the dispute escalated.
After gathering his belongings, the cops directed Massey to file a complaint with hotel management to avoid being arrested for trespassing, Massey recalled. He declined the cops’ offer of a ride to another hotel, choosing instead to take a Lyft to a Sheraton.
“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 a place of public accommodation and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups,” Paul Peralta, general manager of the DoubleTree, said Monday.
An Instagram user identified as “laurenrunway” agreed with Massey. “An innocent non combative black man is considered a threat while talking on the phone. No justice! No peace!” the comment, responding to his post, stated.
“Verayoung7,” responding to the same post, called for a boycott of the hotel chain.