African American Evicted from Portland Hilton Demands Answers (Press Release)

December 27, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JERMAINE MASSEY, AN AFRICAN AMERICAN GUEST AT THE HILTON DOUBLETREE IN PORTLAND, CALLS FOR THE HOTEL TO EXPLAIN ITS CONDUCT

On December 22, 2018, at about 11 p.m., Jermaine Massey was, “calling his mother while black,” from a quiet corner of the lobby of the DoubleTree hotel in Portland, Oregon, when hotel security demanded to know if he was a guest. Mr. Massey replied that he was. The security guard persisted in questioning his presence, even after Mr. Massey presented his hotel key to the guard. When Mr. Massey asked why he was being singled out, security guard Earl Meyers replied that he was a “security threat.” The hotel manager called Portland police, who explained to Mr. Massey that the hotel demanded that he be arrested for trespass if he did not leave the premises. The officers escorted Mr. Massey to his room, where he gathered his personal belongings and left.

The officer offered him a ride, but Mr. Massey explained he had his own car and would drive himself, rather than leave in the back of a police car.

Mr. Massey has retained our law firm, Kafoury & McDougal.

Through our firm, Mr. Massey invites the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel chain to publicly answer the following questions:

  1. As the video shows, the incident took place in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby which was open to the public. At the time, Mr. Massey was returning a personal phone call from his mother who lives on the East Coast. Why was Mr. Massey approached by security? Why was he interrogated?
  2. The security guard told Mr. Massey that he was a “threat to security,” a statement echoed by the hotel chain’s press release, which states, “Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority.” Please explain in detail in what manner Massey was a threat to safety or security.

Once these questions are fully and completely answered, Mr. Massey may be willing to speak publicly on this matter. The hotel has requested a private discussion, but Mr. Massey was publicly humiliated. Therefore, he demands a public statement response.

The press is requested to make all contacts with Mr. Massey through our office. Please respect the privacy of Mr. Massey and his family during this difficult time.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Contact Greg and Jason Kafoury at our office: 503-224-2647

Press Coverage

Oregonian/Oregonlive: Portland Hotel Calls Cops on Black Guest in Lobby, Dec. 25, 2018

Oregonian/Oregonlive: DoubleTree Portland Fires Two Employees for Evicting Black Guest from Hotel, Dec. 29, 2018

New York Times: DoubleTree in Portland Fires Two Employees After Kicking Out Black Man Who Made Call From Lobby, Dec. 28, 2019

Oregon Public Broadcasting: Black Guest Calls for Public Statement After Portland Hotel Evicted Him, Dec. 27, 2019

Oregon Public Broadcasting: DoubleTree Portland Fires Two Employees Accused of Racial Profiling, Dec. 29, 2018

Slate: Portland Hotel Fires Two Employees Who Called Police on Black Guest

Washington Post: Oregon Hotel Fires Employees Seen on Video Evicting Black Guest, Dec. 30, 2019

Huffington Post: Hotel Employees Fired After Calling Police on Black Guest Using His Phone, Dec. 29, 2019

CBS: Oregon Hotel Fires Employees Who Called Police on Black Guest, Dec. 29. 2018

Willamette Week: Portland DoubleTree Fires Two Employees for Kicking Black Guest Out of Hotel, Dec. 30, 2018

Time: Oregon Hotel Fires Two Employees Who Mistreated Black Guest Talking on Phone in Lobby, Dec. 30, 2018