A popular hotel chain may be feeling a financial fallout months after a guest claimed that he was discriminated against by two employees. He is now suing the brand, the security guard, and the guard’s on-duty manager who have since been fired, for $3 million. On Tuesday, Massey filed the lawsuit, claiming pain and suffering and gave notice that he plans to adjust the claim to include an additional $7 million, according to the Washington Post.
Last December, Jermaine Massey says that he was unjustifiably arrested at the DoubleTree by Hilton because he is a Black man. In an appearance on CNN following the incident, Massey recounted the events that took place at the chain’s Portland, Oregon, location. At the time he told Don Lemon that he had no idea why it happened but it was “hurtful and humiliating.”
“I deserve respect and fair treatment and I did not receive that on Saturday,” Massey said of the December 22 incident that’s given him prolonged feelings of “embarrassment, frustration, anger, humiliation, a sense of increased vulnerability, and feelings of racial stigmatization,” according to his lawsuit.
Massey alleges that he was in the lobby of the Hilton hotel speaking to his mother when security from the hotel approached him and demanded to know if he was a guest. The situation escalated when the guard wouldn’t take his word for it. Security called the manager, who then called the Portland Police.
They claim Massey was “loitering” and presented a threat. They later took him to his room and escorted him out of the property. This all happened in front of other Hilton guests. Much of the confrontation was caught on video, then uploaded to Massey’s personal Instagram account.
When speaking to Lemon, Massay told the host that the implicit biases surrounding Black men are likely to blame. “They think that we’re threats and harmful and just fearful individuals,” Massey contended. “That bias impacts these situations and it impacts us as a people.”