Oregon hotel fires employees who evicted African-American guest who was talking on phone in lobby

DoubleTree Portland, a Hilton-owned property, has fired two employees who called the police on an African-American hotel guest who was using his phone in the lobby.

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The hotel, located in Portland, Oregon, tweeted Saturday they have “terminated the employment of the two men involved.” They said the men’s actions “were inconsistent with our standard & values.”


The hotel didn’t identify the employees.

On Dec. 22, Jermaine Massey was on a phone call with his mother in a remote area of the hotel lobby when a security guard asked if he was a guest. Massey presented his room key but the guard also asked for his room number, which he declined to give.

The security guard told Massey that if he could not provide a room number, he would be asked to leave. The Kent, Washington, resident was escorted by an officer, according to a police report.

Massey posted a video on social media that shows part of the interaction with the guard.

He was not charged, and Portland police offered to drive Massey to a new hotel, according to a statement obtained by KOIN:

"The employees, who had authority to trespass people from the hotel, requested the officer contact a person in the lobby they had reportedly directed to leave the property.The officer spoke with the man, who gathered his items and left the location. Prior to the man departing from the location, the Portland Police Bureau Officer offered the man assistance to a new hotel and at that time the man declined the offer."

Portland DoubleTree General Manager Paul Peralta said in a statement earlier this week that the hotel reached out to Massey to try to reach a resolution. Massey’s lawyers said the hotel should publicly answer why security approached and questioned Massey and explain how, as the guard said, Massey was a threat to security.

"Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland. 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," Peralta told OregonLive.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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