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The Hilton-owned hotel company has severed ties with a staff member working at a Williamston, North Carolina, Hampton Inn property who called the police on a black family using the swimming pool, the company said Monday.
"Hampton by Hilton has zero-tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind," Shruti Gandhi Buckley the global head of Hampton by Hilton, said in a statement. "The member is no longer employed at the hotel. 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."
A black woman was at the hotel's pool with her children on Friday when a white employee and two white police officers approached her as shown in a Facebook Live video shared on social media more than 800,000 times. In it, the hotel guest, identified as Anita Williams-Wright on Instagram, is asked to show proof that she is staying at the hotel.
"I'm here with my kids on business," Williams-Wright says when questioned by the hotel employee. She continues to hold up a hotel key.
"This lady here is discriminating [against] me. I have a key to get in and I can show you that it works. ... I have a room here. I don't have to give my name. I didn't break the law," she continued.
Williams-Wright claimed in the video that other hotel guests using the pool were not questioned.
"It was two white people sitting over there and she said nothing to them," Williams-Wright said in the video. "She said to me, 'Oh, because it's always people like you using the pool unauthorized.' Who is people like me?"
The police in the video went on to run Williams-Wright's license plate, she said, after refusing to show identification.
"You are degrading me in front of my kids," she said, adding that the family was trying to enjoy themselves.
Williams-Wright is seen leaving the pool with her kids at the end of the video to return back to their room.
The Williamston Police Department has initiated an internal investigation, it said in a press release.
Gandhi Buckley said in the statement that Hilton had apologized to Williams-Wright and her family for their experience.
"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," Gandhi Buckley said in the statement.