The guest explained in a Facebook Live that the employee did not question two white people who were there at the time but instead told her that "it's always people like you using the pool unauthorized."
A Hampton Inn employee in North Carolina has been fired from her job after she called the cops on a Black woman who was a guest at the hotel. Anita Williams-Wright said in a Facebook Live video on Friday that she was at the pool with her two children when the unidentified white employee approached her and began questioning her about being there. She explained that the employee did not question two white people who were there at the time and instead told her that "it's always people like you using the pool unauthorized."
A Hampton Inn employee has been fired after she called the police on a Black family staying at the hotel and using the pool. https://t.co/MMQiGtqnzN— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2020
According to NBC News, the Williamston Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to the Hampton Inn in Williamston—about 110 miles east of Raleigh—for a report of a person trespassing.
"I feel it's discrimination," Williams-Wright, who explained that she was staying at the hotel for business, says in the video. "I have a room here and I told her that."
Staff at the hotel reportedly claimed that two children were in the pool unattended while Williams-Wright was sitting in her car in the parking lot. Two officers arrived at the hotel's front desk in response to the call, reports Good Morning America, and spoke to an employee who said she was doing rounds and "found two children playing in the pool by themselves."
The employee stated that when she spoke to the children, they told her their mother was watching them from a nearby car. At this point, the officers approached Williams-Wright and asked for her name and room number. However, she refused to give it to them, stating in the video that she didn't have to as she had not done anything wrong.
"I'm the only Black person here in this pool, they want to question me," she says in the nearly 10-minute video. "But it was two Caucasian people sitting right over there and she said nothing to them. So she goes and calls the police officers."
"She said to me, 'Oh, because it's always people like you using the pool unauthorized.' Who is people like me?" Williams-Wright says. According to the police report, the responding lieutenant asked the employee what she wanted to do, at which point she is quoted as reading from her phone that "her manager wanted the people arrested." Police said the officers ran the woman's license plate and after obtaining her name, found out she had two rooms reserved at the hotel. The video ends with Williams-Wright and her children leaving to go to their room.
A Hampton Inn employee in North Carolina was fired for calling the police on a Black woman who was a guest at the hotel enjoying the pool with her 2 children. https://t.co/qFcywOZ88n— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 30, 2020
"The Williamston Police Department takes the complaint process very seriously and has initiated an internal investigation surrounding our response to this call for service," the Williamston Police Department said in a statement. "Our office will conduct a thorough and complete internal investigation. We appreciate the public’s concern and efforts to make us aware of this incident." Releasing the police report on Tuesday, the department said that the case's status was categorized as "unfounded."
Hampton Inn worker calls police on Black guests at hotel pool in NC, video shows https://t.co/dHDTjsu1uW— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) June 30, 2020
Responding to the incident, Shruti Gandhi Buckley—the global head of Hampton by Hilton—said in a statement that the company's administrators were alerted to the video and incident over the weekend. She stated that when they contacted the Williamston managers on Sunday, they were informed that the employee in the video was no longer working there. "Hampton by Hilton has zero-tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind," she said. "We apologized directly to the guest and her family for their experience, and will work with them and the hotel to make this right. We remain in contact with the hotel's ownership about follow up actions, and to ensure that in the future, their employees reflect the best values of our brand and are welcoming of all."