Jermaine Massey was visiting Portland for the first time to attend a Travis Scott concert. After the concert on Sunday night, Massey took a call from his mother. So he stayed in the lobby of the hotel to talk. But while he was on the phone, a hotel security guard told him to leave and then called the cops. Massey filmed his encounter with the security guard and posted a series of videos on Instagram in which he recounted what happened. Massey, who is black, ended up being kicked out of the DoubleTree Hotel and had to find a new place to stay at around midnight. “I was racially profiled and treated unfairly,” Massey says in an Instagram video.
In the first video, Massey can be seen sitting in a chair when a security guard named Earl calls the cops on him “to escort you off the property.” When Massey complains he is a guest at the hotel, the guard answers: “Not anymore.” Massey seems flabbergasted by the turn of events. “I didn’t do anything to you,” Massey says at one point. “I’m sitting here taking a phone call and you interrupting my phone call.”
When the manager approaches, Massey wonders why no one else at the hotel is being asked to identify themselves. And he ultimately decides to wait for the cops. “They already had in their minds that they didn’t want me there so I waited for the cops to show up and when they did, I explained my side of the story and they didn’t want to hear it,” Massey wrote in an Instagram post.
There is a snippet of a video that does seem to support Massey’s claim that the cops weren’t very interested in his side of the story. “They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them,” he said. “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. I complied and cooperated and was not issued a refund for my room. I packed my stuff and went to another hotel.”
Police confirmed that the hotel had asked for assistance in getting a person out of the lobby. But the hotel says it was all a misunderstanding. “Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland,” Paul Peralta, general manager of the DoubleTree, said in a 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 place of public accommodation and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.” Massey said he plans to “seek justice” to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.
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