Casino Confrontation: Lawyer and Army Lieutenant discuss civil rights lawsuit against Harrah’s

Louisiana News

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A New Orleans Army Lieutenant is now filing a civil complaint against Harrah’s Casino after she claims they wouldn’t let her in with her military ID.

A video of a casino confrontation between U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Deja Harrison and a Harrah’s Casino employee has gone viral.

Harrison said she went to Harrah’s for her step-brother’s 21st birthday on October 5th, but Harrah’s didn’t let her in with her military ID after her driver’s license wouldn’t scan. It turned into a two hour ordeal, with Harrah’s telling Harrison they were going to call NOPD.

“He looked at the ID and said this ID is fake. This isn’t you. There’s no possible way you made this rank in such a short period of time. I’m literally shocked that someone would say I lied about being in the Army, Harrison said.

Harrison went on to say, “I shouldn’t have been profiled. There are black women in the military that are excelling.”

Harrison said she went as far as showing the Harrah’s employee her military pay stub.

“There’s no reason why I shouldn’t have been allowed in to the casino,” she said.

Harrah’s released this statement on Twitter about the interaction:

“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.”

Harrison’s lawyer, James DeSimone with V. James DeSimone Law said, “There’s no apology in that statement. In Harrah’s statement they seek to blame her. She just informed the manager truthfully that was my rank, and now I’ve been promoted. That is not an inconsistency. That is a clarification.”

Now they’ve filed an internal civil complaint with the Department of Justice, asking for an investigation. Separately they will be filing a Civil Rights Lawsuit.

“We are seeking accountability and there needs to be some repercussion,” her lawyer said.

“He didn’t give me a shot. He didn’t even scan my ID. I was very upset and hurt,” Harrison said.

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