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Black Man Files Lawsuit Against California Marriott alleging he was profiled, berated by manager told to get off the property while he was a guest

Black Man Files Lawsuit Against California Marriott alleging he was profiled, berated by manager told to get off the property while he was a guest

A California man has filed a lawsuit a Bay Area Marriott claiming he was discriminated by the manager of the hotel during a 2020 stay with his fiancée. Dramaine Vinegar says his April three-night stay at the Alameda County hotel was interrupted by discrimination when the manager of the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley berated him as he spoke on the phone in the building’s parking lot.

“I’m 100 percent certain if I was white, he wouldn’t have addressed me like that,” Vinegar told The San Francisco Chronicle.

The lawsuit says Vinegar sat in his car in the parking lot of the hotel to make a phone call. A car pulled up behind Vinegar, and the hotel manager, William Gheen, got out and told him to “Get the f— off the property.”

Then he told Gheen he had a “motel” room, Gheen replied, “It’s a hotel, not a motel. The lawsuit says Gheen, Marriott International and the hotel’s franchisee and management company, Fremont Hotel Operating Co. and Remington Hotels. The suit doesn’t name any damages, however, Vinegar says he wants hotel managers to be screened for racial bias before being hired. Vinegar filmed a part of the altercation that occurred in the hotel lobby.

“I’m a customer. I’ve been here for two nights. You got out your truck, and you told me to get the f— off of private property without even addressing me properly,” Vinegar told Gheen. The manager responded by putting up his middle finger and walking way. The news paper reported that a person at the hotel says no one by the name of Gheen currently works there.

The footage doesn’t show Gheen using any racial slurs, but Vinegar says he believed he was profiled, adding that he never would have been treated that way “in a million years” if he had been white.

Vinegar checked out of the hotel that night and wrote a review about his experience online. The hotel later emailed him, offering him a free room and asking him to reach out to the corporate office. However,by that time Vinegar had already talked with an attorney.

Attorney Jason Kafoury said there is “a pattern of white managers in hotels walking up to paying guests and racially profiling them to try to clear out lobbies and parking lots.”

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