Portland 911 Bureau Explains Why It Sent An Officer To Hotel Racial Profiling Incident

By Amelia Templeton (OPB)
Jan. 24, 2019 12:19 a.m.

A 911 call released Wednesday corroborates key parts of a man's account of being racially profiled and kicked out while he was a guest at the Portland DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

Jermaine Massey, from Kent, Washington, was staying at the DoubleTree while he was in Portland for a concert in December. He said he was talking on his phone in the lobby when a security guard asked him to prove he was a guest or leave. Massey accused the guard of being racist, and began filming the encounter — which later went viral on social media. A hotel employee called 911 during the incident.

OPB received the 911 tape through a records request.


The call lasted just over one minute. A DoubleTree employee told a dispatcher he was calling about a man who was arguing with security.

“Did they mention any weapons or anything, or is it just verbal for now?” the dispatcher asked.

“No, just verbal so far,” the employee answered.

Asked for a description, the employee said Massey was an “African American male, wearing all black, he’s got a cellphone out recording us.”

The dispatcher asked a second time if there are any weapons involved, the hotel employee confirmed there were not, and the dispatcher said someone will respond shortly.

Massey was not arrested and the police officer who responded to the incident offered to drive him to another hotel when staff decided to evict him from his room.

Portland's Bureau of Emergency Communication told OPB that dispatch sent an officer because the call was categorized as a "disturbance in progress," a type of call that includes verbal arguments or fights about to occur.

"We use seven priority levels, with the top three immediately being dispatched. All 'disturbance in progress' calls (including this one) are classified as a priority two because of the potential threat to a person, whether or not the threat is real or perceived," said Dan Douthit, the BOEC  spokesman.

Doubletree later publicly apologized to Massey and fired the two employees involved in the incident.