Instagram | Jermaine Massey
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Black Portland Hotel Guest Accused By Security Guard Of Loitering In Lobby, Gets Kicked Out Of His Room

Jermaine Massey is accusing the staff at a hotel in Portland, Oregon of racially profiling him. Hotel staff called the police and accused him of loitering as he stood in the lobby on the phone with his mother.

Massey posted a video of the incident on Instagram.

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Tonight I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree. 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. The manager who actually called the cops, “Luis” actually asked me AFTER he called the cops, what happened? 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. They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them. 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. I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel. I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, he knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way. Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed. I will be seeking justice. Believe that. @doubletree @doubletreepdx @hiltonhonors #hilton #hiltonhotels #racism #racisminamerica #racismisreal @shaunking

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He was in Portland to see rapper Travis Scott perform. After the concert, he got a phone call from his mother and he was concerned that, due to the late hour, it may be an emergency.

The video captures the aftermath of the altercation in which a white security guard, who identifies himself as Earl, tells Massey that he’s no longer welcome in the hotel and that the police have been called.

Massey says to a hotel manager:

“I needed some privacy, I had a family emergency going on and this gentleman decided to come over here and harass me and ask me where I was staying.”

When the security guard accuses him of loitering, he states:

“How am I loitering in an area that’s public?”

To which the security guard responds:

“You’re sitting here.”

Massey says:

“So this area is off limits after a certain time?”

The security guard confirms:

“Only if you’re a guest.”

And Massey hits back:

“I am a guest.”

The security guard responds:

“You didn’t tell me that. I asked what room you’re in and you refused.”

Along with the footage of the incident, Massey posted this caption:

“Tonight I was racially profiled and discriminated against for taking a phone call in the lobby of my hotel room at the @doubletreepdx @doubletree. 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.”

He went on…

“The manager who actually called the cops, ‘Luis’ actually asked me AFTER he called the cops, what happened?”

“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. They asked me if I had personal items in my room (which of course I did) and asked me to go retrieve them. 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.”

He closed by putting DoubleTree on blast:

“I cannot believe the level of professionalism that this hotel property had with me tonight. It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel. I had my hotel key in my hand the entire conversation, he knew I was a guest. He wanted to prove a point and did it in the worst way. Not really shocked that this happened but just extremely disappointed. I will be seeking justice. Believe that.”

The hotel’s manager, Paul Peralta, called the situation unfortunate and released this statement:

“The safety, security and comfort of our guests and associates is our top priority at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland. We are sorry that this matter ended the way it did and have reached out to the gentleman in order to resolve this matter. We are [a] place of public accommodation and place a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion and our hotel does not discriminate against any individual or group.”

People felt there needed to be consequences.

Many stated that they would no longer use the hotel chain in response.

Talking on the phone with your mother, hanging out in a Starbucks, napping in your student loungeswimming, and having a barbecue are all on the growing list of things that black people apparently can’t do without white people thinking they’re “suspicious.” Unfortunately, racism is alive and well.

Written by Dana Levinson

Dana Aliya Levinson is an actress, writer, and trans activist. She graduated with honors from the New School where she wrote extensively about political and ethnic identity in the middle-east. She was a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has written about politics and trans issues for The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Nylon, and The Notice Blog.