A black hotel guest is demanding a Portland, Ore., DoubleTree speak publicly about an alleged racial profiling incident in which he was accused of trespassing by hotel staff.
Jermaine Massey, a Washington resident who had traveled to Portland for a Travis Scott concert, filmed the exchange between himself and a hotel security guard, Earl Meyers, in the lobby of the hotel late Saturday night. According to Massey, he was speaking on the phone with his mother when Meyers approached him and accused him of trespassing despite Meyers telling him he was a registered guest. In the viral videos, Meyers can be seen calling the police on Massey.
The Huffington Post confirmed with the Portland Police Bureau that officers responded to a call about a trespasser at the DoubleTree that night and that Massey was asked to collect his belongings from his room and leave the hotel.
The DoubleTree has since responded to the incident, which drew widespread attention in the last week, with a boiler-plate statement.
“This unfortunate incident is likely the result of a misunderstanding between our hotel and guest,” general manager Paul Peralta said in the Monday statement, shared by KOIN-TV.
“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. We have reached out to the guest in order to resolve this matter,” Peralta added.
But Massey’s attorneys say the hotel can keep it if it’s not willing to go public.
“Jermaine Massey was, ‘calling his mother while black,’ from a quiet corner of the lobby of the DoubleTree hotel in Portland, Oregon, when hotel security demanded to know if he was a guest,” Massey’s attorneys said in a statement.
“The hotel has requested a private discussion, but Mr. Massey was publicly humiliated. Therefore, he demands a public statement response,” they added.
Among the things Massey’s attorneys want the DoubleTree to publicly address are why he was approached and interrogated by hotel security. They also asked for a detailed explanation on why Massey was perceived as a threat.
“I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, [Meyers] knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way,” Massey wrote when he first posted the viral incident on Instagram.
“Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed,” Massey added. “I will be seeking justice. Believe that.”
Updated Friday, Dec. 28, 2018 at 11:45 A.M. EST: The Portland Doubletree has released an update, via its Twitter account, in which the hotel apologized to Massey and confirmed an investigation into the incident has been launched.
“We sincerely apologize to Mr. Massey for his treatment this past weekend, and deeply regret the experience he endured. It was unacceptable and contrary to our values, beliefs and how we seek to treat all people who visit our hotel,” the hotel tweeted on Friday morning.
Nearly a week after its confrontation with Massey, the DoubleTree Portland said the employees involved in the incident have been placed on leave while it seeks “a third party to conduct a full investigation of the incident”—implying the investigation hasn’t yet begun.
“We will take the appropriate measures to ensure this does not happen again,” said the hotel.