An employee at the Hampton Inn hotel in Williamston, North Carolina was fired after calling police to report trespassing when she saw a Black family using the pool. Missy Williams-Wright, who was visiting from Raleigh for business with her 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, shared a video of the scene on Facebook on June 26. The clip shows a White hotel employee and two Williamston Police Officers asking Williams-Wright for proof she was staying at the hotel.
In the clip, Williams-Wright asked the police officers why she had to prove what room she was in and if she did anything wrong. She told the officers she has a key and can show them it still works. "I have a room here. I don't have to give my name. I didn't break the law," she said. Williams-Wright then accused the White hotel employee of targeting her family, noting that she did not say anything to the White people also using the pool at the time. "She said to me, 'Oh because it's always people like you using the pool unauthorized.' Who is, 'people like me'?" Williams-Wright said in the clip.
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The officers also checked the license plate of her car, which was parked just outside the pool area, reports the New York Post. "Once I prove that I have a room, that was for you to walk away," Williams-Wright told the police. She said she did not commit any crime and they were "degrading" her in front of her children. "They are trying to enjoy themselves," she said.
After Williams-Wright's video went viral, Hampton by Hilton confirmed that the employee is no longer working at the hotel. The company said they contacted the hotel after seeing the video to "review" the situation. "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," Hampton By Hilton Global Head Shruti Gandhi Buckley said in a statement. "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." The company added that it has "zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind."
Despite the incident, Williams-Wright told CNN she and her family stayed at the hotel for the rest of the weekend as she planned. She did not want her children to leave with that memory of the hotel and staff insinuating they did something wrong. "I was uncomfortable," she said. "But I wanted to show my kids that even though we experienced this, we can move forward."