A general manager’s response to a recent racially charged incident at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Kansas City may not be enough to stem criticism—or legal action.
Jaysyn Craddock, an employee of the hotel, said that on July 21, a white supervisor hung a black “slave” doll from a plastic bag fashioned to look like a noose in the hotel’s break room.
He gave KSHB TV 41 a more detailed account of the incident:
So she looked at me and said, “Look what I hung up,” in a giggling way and she asked me, “Does this offend you?” She didn’t say “I’m sorry,” she said “Does this offend you?” And I didn’t say anything. I was just so upset that I went back to helping people and she left it up until the end of the night.
Craddock took a picture of the doll, which he later shared with his attorney, Stacy Shaw.
“I was deeply disappointed and outraged that in 2015 in a city that I love that there could be such blatant intolerance and racism that was present in a workplace,” Shaw told KCTV 5.
Shaw also shared a picture of the doll on Twitter along with the hashtag #SandraBland, where criticism against the hotel and its management has risen.
— Attorney Stacy Shaw (@StacyShawLaw) July 27, 2015
Bland, a black woman, died in jail in Waller County, Texas, after being pulled over for a minor traffic violation and arrested after a confrontation with officer Brian Encinia. Her death was initially ruled a suicide. Though it is unclear if the hotel’s supervisor hung the doll as a statement about Bland, the incident happened 11 days after Bland’s death.
The hotel’s general manager, John Parker, said the supervisor was fired immediately after the incident. He issued the following statement after news media outlets picked up the story:
This isolated incident is completely inconsistent with the values and culture of the Adam’s Mark Hotel Kansas City. This disturbing occurrence took place late Tuesday evening, July 21st. When brought to the attention of management the following day, an investigation was initiated. Immediately following the investigation, the employee was terminated, Friday, July 24th, prior to the start of their next shift. The Adam’s Mark Kansas City is committed to maintaining a positive working environment free of unlawful harassment.
However, Shaw says the incident points to a “systematic problem,” and is moving forward with a possible lawsuit against the hotel for harassment.
On Wednesday, Shaw also held a press conference, where the firm’s associate attorney, Cecilia Nuby, alleged that Parker called the supervisor’s actions “goofy.”
“The fact that [the incident] was even allowed is smoke and we’re trying to find the fire,” Shaw told KCTV.
Parker has issued no additional statements on behalf of Adam’s Mark Hotel.