A U.S. Army officer is filing a lawsuit against a casino in New Orleans after security barred her entry, claiming she looked nothing like the individual on her military ID.
2nd Lieutenant Deja Harrison went to Harrah’s Casino on October 5 to celebrate her brother’s 21st birthday, only to be refused at the door.
The employee questioned the validity of her IDs, adding that she didn’t look like the person in the photo.
“I mean, not only was it humiliating, but I was just shocked and appalled,” Harrison said. “You know, I immediately started telling him, you know I’m a second lieutenant now, I just commissioned this summer after I graduated camp.”
After she did not initially gain entry, the lieutenant began recording the encounter.
The video was uploaded to Twitter and received hundreds of thousands of views.
Harrison’s own Twitter post claimed that “the manager said it’s no way possible I made E-6 at the age of 23.”
“I shouldn’t be discriminated against just bc I’m a high-ranked 23 yr old black female in the Army,” Harrison added.
Eventually, the casino appeared to call the police, though NOPD did not respond.
James Desimone, who represents Harrison, said his law firm would be suing Harrah’s.
“We’re absolutely willing to go to the bat for Lt. Harrison. This manager clearly engaged in stereotypical thinking and implicit bias; he could not believe that a young black woman had achieved the rank that she did through her hard work and dedication in the Army,” Desimone said. “This violates Louisiana human rights laws and that he’s engaging in those stereotypes he’s denying her access to a public facility based on her race.”
According to WGNO, the casino released the following statement on social media:
“To comply with gaming regulations, Harrah’s New Orleans checks IDs for our guests who appear to be under 30 years old. To do so, we use an approved electronic reader, similar to what you would find at an airport TSA checkpoint. Our Team Members are trained to evaluate identification in accordance with local regulations. In this case, Ms. Harrison, who appeared to be under 30, presented a Louisiana driver’s license that did not clear our electronic verification system. When asked for an alternative form of identification, she presented a military ID card, but the information on the military ID card did not match the information she had verbally communicated to our security officers. As a result, in compliance with applicable gaming regulations, our security officers did not permit Ms. Harrison to enter the casino. Caesars Entertainment has an unwavering commitment to diversity and our military. We are saddened by this situation and will continue to evaluate our processes to ensure that we uphold both our commitment to our guests and our regulators. We have reached out to Ms. Harrison, who let us know she will be retaining legal counsel; as such, we will have no further comment.”
“I don’t think this is you..I’ll call NOPD and you can explain to them” -Corey from @harrahsnola @HarrahsLADowns— Deja Harrison (@dejaharrisontv) October 5, 2021
I showed 2 forms of photo I.D and even my Army paystub.
I shouldn’t be discriminated against just bc I’m a high-ranked 23 yr old black female in the Army! pic.twitter.com/ziIFUz6XsX
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