N.C. Hampton Inn Employee Fired After Calling Cops on Black Guest at Pool with Kids
The incident — in which the employee called police to report a trespassing — was captured in a viral video
A Hampton Inn employee at a hotel in North Carolina was fired after she called police on a Black guest using the pool with her children to report a trespassing.
The incident was captured in a viral video shared to Facebook by a woman who goes by Missy Williams-Wright, who repeatedly said she was the target of “discrimination” by the white employee.
In the 10-minute-long clip, Williams-Wright said she was at the hotel on business and was at the pool with her children when the employee approached and asked if she was a guest. When Williams-Wright said yes, the staffer asked for her room number.
“She said to me, ‘Oh, because it’s always people like you using the pool unauthorized.’ Who’s people like me?” Williams-Wright said in the video. “But there was two Caucasian people sitting right over there and she said nothing to them. So she goes and called the police officers.”
At one point in the video, which has been viewed more than 1 million times, the fired employee told the woman that she “just wanted to make sure that everyone in the pool’s supposed to be in the pool,” per her boss’ request.
Two officers with the Williamston Police Department also featured in the clip, and repeatedly asked Williams-Wright for her room number and her identity, which she refused to divulge, citing the fact that she already proved she was a guest by showing her room key and “did not commit a crime.”
“You are degrading me like this in front of my kids,” she said in the video. “They’re trying to enjoy themselves in the pool…. [The cops] never asked me what happened, they just came up to me, going by her story.”
RELATED VIDEO: Shaquille O'Neal Has Taught His Kids to Interact With the Police 'With Respect'
The Williamston Police Department said in a statement to NBC News that the two officers responded to a report of a person trespassing at the hotel, and that hotel staff said the children were swimming unattended while Williams-Wright sat in her car in the parking lot.
The staff also said that when they asked if she was a guest, she refused to provide her name or room number, and was asked to leave the premises.
The department — who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment — reportedly ran Williams-Wright’s license plate and confirmed she was, indeed, a guest, at which point the officers cleared the call without taking any enforcement action, according to USA Today.
Police told the outlet they are opening an internal investigation into the incident amid an “outcry of public concern over this call for service and how it was handled.”
Meanwhile, the hotel released a statement as well, and said it has “zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind.”
“Even as we communicated our expectations to the ownership and management of the Williamston property on Sunday, we learned that the team member is no longer employed at the hotel,” Hampton by Hilton Global Head Shruti Gandhi Buckley said in a statement. “We have 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.”