An African-American man who recorded a video of two hotel workers asking him to leave the property last year has sued Hilton Hotels and DoubleTree by Hilton in Portland, Oregon.
Jermaine Massey has claimed he was falsely arrested and discriminated against on the basis of his race when invited to DoubleTree by Hilton on December 22, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Massey was sitting in the hotel lobby talking on his cell phone to his mother, who lives on the east coast, when hotel security “interrupted him, demanding to know if he was a invited, “his lawyers said in a press release.
“When Mr. Massey replied that he was, the guard persisted, demanding further evidence, then calling it a ‘security threat’ and alerting the hotel manager, who called police to Portland, “his lawyers said.
The security guard accused Massey of “loitering” and the manager ordered him to leave the hotel, according to the lawsuit.
In a series of Instagram videos recorded by Massey and obtained by CNN in December, he was heard asking the guard, “But why? But I stay here.
“Not anymore,” replied the security guard.
At one point in the video, Massey showed the two men his key card envelope with the room number and date written on it.
Police told Massey he would be arrested for trespassing if he did not leave the hotel, according to the lawsuit.
“Police escorted Mr. Massey to his room to collect his personal belongings, then drove him out of the hotel in full view of other clients,” his lawyers said.
“Once the police arrived, Massey was no longer free to come and go as he wished and was only allowed to move under police escort and coercion by the police,” the trial said.
Massey “has suffered, continues to suffer and will suffer in the future from embarrassment, frustration, anger, humiliation, feelings of heightened vulnerability and feelings of racial stigma,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks $ 3 million in damages. He says Massey is considering varying the claim for punitive damages to an amount to be determined by a jury of up to $ 7 million.
The CEO of Doubletree by Hilton Portland apologized. “We are a public accommodation place and focus on diversity and inclusion and our hotel does not discriminate against any individual or group,” he said in a statement.
A security guard and a hotel manager, who are named as accused in the lawsuit, have been fired. CNN tried unsuccessfully to reach the two former employees.
Sami Qureshi, area general manager of hotel management company WMK Management LLC, owner of Doubletree by Hilton Portland, said: type. ”
Since last year’s incident, WMK Management has made diversity, equity and inclusion training mandatory for employees, Qureshi said in the statement.
In a statement, Hilton Hotels said, “Hilton has zero tolerance for racism and is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all guests. ”
“Following the December 2018 incident, Hilton accelerated scheduled training for all franchised properties around the world and worked with DoubleTree by Hilton Portland, Ore., An independently owned and operated property, to ensure that their employees have completed the Diversity and Unconscious Bias training. said the statement.
Massey worked for the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and the FBI, his attorneys said.