Talking While Black: Hotel Calls Cops On Guest Making A Call In The Lobby
By Sharelle Burt
Here we go again.
Jermaine Massey got a room at the DoubleTree Hilton in Portland, Oregon to see a Travis Scott concert. After coming back from the AstroWorld show, he noticed that he missed a call from his mother. Since he’s a resident in the state of Washington and his mother lives on the East Coast, Massey immediately thought something was wrong. He sat in the lobby to return the call when a security guard, labeled #HotelEarl, approached him and asked him what his room number was. The security guard then accused him of trespassing. Massey hung up the phone to make sure he got the incident on film.
“I had a family emergency and I was taking a phone call,” Massey said in the video. “He wants to call the cops on me because I was taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel.”
#HotelEarl told Massey, who was wearing a black hoodie with bright lettering, jeans, and sneakers, that he thought he was a threat to other people’s safety.
The video went viral after he posted it on Instagram. In the lengthy caption, the 34-year-old had his room key with him the entire duration of the conversation.
“He knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way.” Massey said that the manager of the DoubleTree called the police and they discriminated against him from the start, waiting for the cops to arrive. “When they did, I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it.” No shocker there.
The Kent, Washington resident was told that since he was asked to leave the hotel, he would be considered a trespasser if he refused. Not wanting any more trouble and aggravation, he packed up his things and left. Police offered to help Massey find another hotel to stay in but he refused. Who could blame him?
“I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight,” Massey wrote. “It is never OK to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin.”
Massey claims that he wasn’t issued a refund, but of course the hotel did issue a statement. “Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland,” the Doubletree said. “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.”