A Black Army second lieutenant said she was discriminated against at a New Orleans casino when an employee denied her entry by claiming she wasn’t the person pictured on her military identification, reports NBC News.
The officer, Deja Harrison, documented part of the encounter in a video she posted on her Twitter page.
“But you said I had a fake military ID, right?” Harrison says in the video as she holds up two ID cards.
“I’m not saying the ID’s fake. I’m saying that I don’t think that it’s you,” the employee responds. It’s not clear what led up to the confrontation.
Harrison moves the IDs closer to the camera and says that it is her face in the photos and that she is an E-6 rank in the Army but recently became a second lieutenant.
“You don’t believe that I’m a second lieutenant. So what’s the problem? I’m showing you my ID,” she tells the employee. “This is my picture. This is a valid military ID. This is a valid driver’s license. None of them are expired.”
The employee tells Harrison he’s going to call “NOPD”” and she can explain the situation to it, referring to the New Orleans Police Department.
It’s not clear whether the employee, who is Wwhite, did, in fact, call the police on Harrison, who is Black. The police department didn’t immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.
Since Harrison posted the video last week, it had been viewed more than 290,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon. In the caption, Harrison wrote that she believes she was discriminated against because she’s a “high-ranked 23 yr old Black female in the Army.”
Harrison told NBC affiliate WDSU of New Orleans that she was at Harrah’s New Orleans to celebrate her stepbrother’s 21st birthday. She said she had initially pulled out her driver’s license but that the machine the casino uses to scan IDs wouldn’t scan it. She told the station that she grabbed her military ID, instead, and that the employee questioned its validity.
Harrison said that she enlisted in the Army when she was in high school and that she was in junior ROTC all four years of school. When she graduated and joined the Army, her rank was E-2. Harrison said that she quickly moved up to E-3 and that while she was enrolled at Grambling State University in Louisiana, she contracted with ROTC to help raise her ranking even more.