The DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, OR, has fired two employees who evicted a guest because he is black and was talking on the phone with his mother in the lobby.
The announcement, made on Twitter, comes just a day after the company said it was placing the two men on administrative leave pending an investigation.
As our sister site The Root reported on Friday, 34-year-old Jermaine Massey, from Washington, had traveled to Portland to attend a concert. He was in the hotel lobby speaking on the phone—with his room key apparently in hand—when a white security guard approached him and accused him of trespassing.
Hotel security guard Earl Meyers ordered another employee to call the police, and officers then escorted Massey to his room to retrieve his belongings.
Massey filmed the incident and posted it on Instagram.
“We have terminated the employment of the two men involved in the mistreatment of Mr. Massey,” DoubleTree Portland tweeted on Saturday. “Their actions were inconsistent with our standards & values. We reiterate our sincere apology for what he endured & will work with diversity experts to ensure this never happens again.”
In an email to USA Today, DoubleTree Portland general manager Paul Peralta said the company has a “zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any kind,” and that it would seek “the counsel of community leaders” and “engage a third party to conduct a full investigation into the incident…”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he hoped the racial profiling incident would serve as a “catalyst for necessary changes that address the systemic nature of discrimination of all forms.
In his social media post, Massey said, “It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race. Earl is a disgrace, calls himself a man but calls the Portland Police Dept on a man who was minding his own business in the lobby of his hotel.”