Harrah’s New Orleans Faces Civil Rights Complaint, Woman Refused Entry

Posted on: October 9, 2021, 07:28h. 

Last updated on: October 11, 2021, 09:19h.

A woman claims she plans to file a civil rights complaint against Harrah’s New Orleans over an incident last week at the gaming property. Deja Harrison, a 23-year-old Army lieutenant, was stopped from going onto the casino floor after her IDs were challenged.

Harrison also showed the employee a COVID-19 vaccination card
Deja Harrison, shown presenting IDs to Harrah’s New Orleans worker. The employee refused to let her enter the casino and questioned if she was the person photographed in the IDs. (Image: Raw Story)

The incident began after Harrison went to the casino with her stepbrother to celebrate his 21st birthday. Initially, she gave the staff member her driver’s license. However, the ID failed to successfully scan through an electronic reader. Harrison then presented her military ID.

The casino staff member questioned if the military ID was hers. She believes he thought that the rank was too high for the ID to belong to her.

Harrison also showed the employee a COVID-19 vaccination card and a receipt for military salary, according to Raw Story, a national online news site.

Harrison recorded the incident on her cell phone. She later posted the video on Twitter. There were over 240,000 views as of early Saturday.

Video Goes Viral

In Harrison’s video, an employee can be heard questioning if she was presenting someone else’s military ID.

I don’t think this is you,” the employee later identified as “Corey” was heard telling Harrison in a video she posted on Twitter.

The casino worker then says he is going to call the police. In the video, he is seen picking up a phone and appears to make a call.

Harrison waited for officers to arrive. But even after two hours, they did not show up. It remains unknown if the employee ever made the call to the police. Independently, WDSU, a local TV station, checked the department’s 911 database. There were no calls from Harrah’s during that time, the station revealed.

Military, ROTC Member

Though just 23, Harrison has a relatively long history with the Army.

Initially, she enlisted while in high school with her mother’s permission to sign up. She had been in Junior ROTC and later ROTC. She graduated from Louisiana’s Grambling State University earlier this year. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in July.

Harrison told the casino’s parent company, Caesars Entertainment, she will be retaining an attorney. She also thanked supporters who posted comments on Twitter.

“I just wanted everybody to know, this is what I’m going through at Harrah’s,” Harrison said. Following the incident, Harrison said she was “shocked” and “furious” about the actions of the Harrah’s employee. She noted it is a federal crime to present a fake military ID.

Caesars ‘Saddened’ By Event

Caesars Entertainment said it was “saddened” by the incident, but also has to comply with regulations for checking players’ ages.

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,” Caesars said in a statement to WDSU.

The company further stated they have “an unwavering commitment to diversity and our military.”

Caesars Entertainment confirmed Harrison presented a Louisiana driver’s license which failed to scan properly. She then presented the military ID card.

(B)ut the information on the military ID card did not match the information she had verbally communicated to our security officers,” the Caesars statement said. “As a result, in compliance with applicable gaming regulations, our security officers did not permit Ms. Harrison to enter the casino,” the statement adds.

Casino.org reached out to Caesars Entertainment for a response. No statement was provided as of Saturday.

Complaint Process, Possible Grounds

Often, civil rights complaints in the US are filed in courts or at state or federal commissions. The complainant believes his/her civil rights were violated and possible discrimination took place.

Evidence can be presented. The complaint is then reviewed by a judge, jury, or commission members.

Violations, many times, are linked to race, gender, age, religion, disability, and other categories. The US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division lets complainants file a form online.