Jermaine Massey said he’d just sat down in the lobby of a Portland, Oregon, hotel to take a phone call from his mother when he was approached by a security guard.
After he was questioned by the guard—and showed his room key—a hotel manager called the police and accused Massey of loitering.
Massey, who was in town to see Travis Scott perform, documented the encounter in a series of Instagram videos.
“I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree,” Massey wrote. “The security guard ‘Earl’ decided that he would call the police on me, the exact reason is still unclear to me. He said that I was a safety threat to the other guests and that I was trespassing and said that I was a disturbance because I took a personal phone call from my mom in a more remote area of the lobby.”
According to Massey, he waited for the police to arrive so he could tell them what was happening, but they weren’t sympathetic to his cause. Instead of mediating the situation, officers escorted Massey to his room to collect his belongings and he checked out of the hotel.
“They told me that since the hotel requested me to leave, that if I didn’t I would be considered a trespasser and would be thrown in jail,” Massey explained. “I complied and cooperated and was not issued a refund for my room. I packed my stuff and went to another hotel.”
“I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never okay to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race,” Massey added.
After Massey’s videos went viral, Paul Peralta, the general manager at the Portland DoubleTree, issued a statement calling the incident a “misunderstanding.”
“Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland,” Peralta said in the statement. “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.”