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 two children.
The woman, who goes by Missy Williams-Wright on Facebook, said she was staying at the Hampton Inn in Williamston, about 110 miles east of Raleigh, for business. In a Facebook Live video on Friday, she said she was at the pool when an employee questioned her about being there, but did not question two white people who were there.
Williams-Wright is Black and the worker appears to be white.
“I feel it’s discrimination,” Williams-Wright says in the nearly 10-minute video as two officers approach her. “I have a room here and I told her that.”
The Williamston Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to the hotel for a report of a person trespassing. Staff at the hotel said that two children were in the pool unattended and Williams-Wright was sitting in her car in the parking lot.
“Hampton Inn staff advised that they inquired from the adult to see if they were a guest at the hotel and the adult refused to provide their name and room number,” the statement read. “Hampton Inn staff advised that they told the adult to leave the premises and called for law enforcement.”
During the exchange, one of the officers asks Williams-Wright for her name and room number but she says she won’t give it to them because she did nothing wrong.
“I’m the only Black person here in this pool, they want to question me,” she says. “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.
The video, which has been viewed more than 900,000 times on Facebook, ends with her and children leaving to go to their room. Wiliams-Wright was not available for comment on Tuesday.
Police said the officers ran the woman’s license plate and determined that she was a guest at the hotel.
Hilton, which owns Hampton Inn, released a statement on Twitter saying the employee was fired.
“Hampton by Hilton has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind,” Shruti Gandhi Buckley, the Global Head of Hampton by Hilton, 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.”