An African-American man says he was a guest at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland and was kicked out of his room Saturday after he was racially profiled by hotel security.
The incident took place in the hotel lobby around 11:23 p.m.
Jermaine Massey, 34, was in the lobby talking on his phone when hotel security guard Earl Meyers, 71, asked him to prove he was a guest of the hotel or leave, according to a report by the Portland Police Bureau.
Massey, from Kent, Washington, accused Meyers of being racist, the police report states.
“Meyer said the man refused to give a room number and he told the man if he couldn’t provide a room number he would have to ask him to leave the property,” PPB officer Richard Harvey, who responded to the incident, wrote in the police report.
Massey recorded parts of the incident and uploaded a series of
to social media. He didn’t return calls Monday.
“He’s calling the cops on me because I’m taking a phone call at the DoubleTree Hotel,” Massey says in the video. “I have not moved, I have been sitting here the whole time and they’re calling the police on me because I’m taking a phone call in the lobby. Did you ask any of those people walking by what room they were staying in? No.”
“They’ll be here in a minute,” Meyers responds at one point in the video, referring to the police.
“Sure,” Massey says.
The incident has gathered attention on social media since Massey posted the video, making it the latest occurrence of potential racial profiling to gain publicity in Oregon. In July, a constituent called the police on Oregon Rep. Janelle Bynum, who is African American, while she was out canvassing in the Clackamas district she represents.
In the series of videos, Meyers and a hotel employee are on the phone and using walkie talkies.
Massey asks why they’ve called the police.
“If you could just calm down,” the hotel employee says.
Meyers later tells Massey that he’s loitering and the area is only for guests.
Massey responds that he is a guest.
“I’d like to see the cops,” Massey says. “Let the cops come.”
Police officers did eventually arrive and escorted Massey out of the DoubleTree Hotel at the request of the hotel staff.
Officer Harvey wrote in his report that Massey accused Meyers of “being a racist many times.”
Harvey asked if Massey had property in the hotel and if they could retrieve it.
“I asked him to go to his room with us and get his property before he became so mad that something may happen that no one would want,” Harvey wrote.
They went to Massey’s room, according to Harvey.
“While he was getting his belongings he took the Bible from the hotel room and slid it across the carpet toward Meyers and told him he needed to read it and learn how to be a human,” Harvey’s report states.
Massey then made a call, according to the report, telling the person on the other end that he was being “escorted out of his hotel by the police because of a racist security guard at the hotel,” Harvey wrote. “He then said no I'm not being arrested because I didn't resist the police.”
Harvey offered to give him a ride to another hotel. Massey declined.
“He thanked me for being calm and patient with him,” Harvey wrote. “He then walked away from the hotel toward the MAX platform and yelled ‘racist’ at security as he left.”
DoubleTree Portland Hotel General Manager Paul Peralta released a statement Monday.
“This unfortunate incident is likely the result of a misunderstanding between our hotel and guest,” Peralta said. “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. We have reached out to the guest in order to resolve this matter.”
A Portland Police Bureau spokesman also said Monday that they reached out to Massey, acknowledging the experience was “embarrassing” for him.