Oregon hotel apologizes a week after kicking out black man
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Attorneys for a black man who was kicked out of an Oregon hotel last week say they want a public explanation for why he was told to leave.
Nearly a week later, the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Portland apologized Friday to Jermaine Massey on Twitter. He has accused the hotel of racially profiling him after a security guard called police to remove him from the lobby, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported .
“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 tweet said.
The hotel also said the employees involved had been placed on leave and an investigation would be done.
The security guard told Massey that if he could not provide a room number, he would be asked to leave. The Washington state resident was staying at the hotel and left with an officer, according to a police report.
Massey posted a video on social media that shows part of the interaction with the guard.
“He’s calling the cops on me because I’m taking a phone call at the DoubleTree hotel,” Massey says in the video. “I have not moved, I have been sitting here the whole time and they’re calling the police on me because I’m taking a phone call in the lobby. Did you ask any of those people walking by what room they were staying in? No.”
General manager Paul Peralta said in a statement earlier this week that the hotel reached out to Massey to try to reach a resolution, noting the incident was “likely the result of a misunderstanding between our hotel and guest.”
Massey said through his attorneys Thursday that he wasn’t interested in a closed-door discussion.
“The hotel has requested a private discussion, but Mr. Massey was publicly humiliated,” attorneys Gregory and Jason Kafoury of the law firm Kafoury and McDougal wrote in a statement.
The hotel should publicly answer why security approached and questioned Massey and explain how, as the guard said, Massey was a threat to security, his lawyers said.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said Friday that it was deeply troubling to hear about Massey’s experience.
“No one should be treated this way, and I hope this serves as a catalyst for necessary changes that address the systemic nature of discrimination of all forms,” he wrote on Twitter.
It’s the latest high-profile incident in which black people have been removed from businesses.
Last month, police in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland helped the owner of a frozen yogurt shop kick out a black man because employees said they felt uncomfortable.
Police in Philadelphia in April arrested two black men at a Starbucks coffee shop after a manager called police to say they refused to make a purchase or leave.
Police, other city officials and business owners in those incidents later apologized.
Information from: KOPB-, http://www.opb.org