A white employee at the Williamston, North Carolina Hampton Inn has been fired after calling the police on a Black family — who were guests at the hotel — for using the pool. Ednitta Wright live-streamed the incident on Facebook, which ultimately led to the hotel employee’s termination.
Wright was at the pool with her two children when two police officers approached her. A Hampton Inn employee had reportedly called the cops under the suspicion that Wright and her children were not guests at the hotel.
“I have a key to get in and I can show you that it works,” Wright told officers in the clip. “I have a room here.”
According to the police report, the cops responded to a call from the hotel’s front desk about “two children playing in the pool by themselves.” The Hampton Inn employee claimed she spoke to the children, who said their mother was watching over them from a nearby car.
In the clip shared to Wright’s Facebook, the employee can be heard explaining to the mother that she was making sure they were guests at the hotel. However, as noted by Wright, there were other white families using the pool that the employee did not question.
“She said to me, ‘Oh, because it’s always people like you using the pool unauthorized.’ Who [are] people like me?” Wright said in the video.
The police report also notes that the employee told the responding lieutenant that “her manager wanted the people arrested.” The officers did not arrest Wright, but did check her car’s license plate. The video ends with the family leaving the pool and going back to their hotel room. Police later found that Wright had two rooms reserved at the hotel.
“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 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.”
Hampton Inn has confirmed that the employee who called the police has been fired. Global Head of Hampton by Hilton Shruti Gandhi Buckley said in a statement that they've reached out to Wright to apologize and are determined 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,” Buckley added.