HOUSTON (FOX 26) - An off-duty police officer said he was asked to leave the Hilton Post Oak Hotel Saturday night because he had his gun openly displayed on his hip-- even after he said he showed the general manager his police badge.
Texas law does not allow public places like hotels to ban officers from carrying at all times.
In a public Facebook post, Officer Mo Nehad is now urging the law enforcement community to boycott Hilton Hotels until all their staff are trained on state laws.
Just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Officer Nehad with the University of Texas Police Department in Houston said he was approached by the General Manager at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel while he was in the lobby visiting with some friends from out of town.
“A tall individual walked up to me and asked me, ‘Hey are you on-duty or off-duty? And I advised them no I was off duty and he advised me, ‘If you're off duty then I'll actually have to ask you to step out of here because we do not allow off-duty police officers to have their gun on them,’” Nehad said.
Nehad said the GM asked him to leave despite him showing his state-issued police badge.
“I’ve never heard any business asking an off-duty police officer to leave the premise just because they’re carrying a badge and a gun. I was just like this. (Firearm) on my right hip, with my badge, with my keys, with my magazine, with my cuffs in the back.
“I advised him, ‘Hey hope you understand, I’m a state police officer,' because I carry my credentials right here which has everything in there, so I went to pull that out,” Nehad said.
State law does not allow businesses to ban police officers from carrying their firearms on the public places, regardless if they're off-duty. Nehad said the move made him feel targeted.
“The reason why I felt targeted is especially what is happening with police officers recently. I mean on September 27, Deputy Dhaliwal died while he was in uniform, while he was doing what he loved to do-- of no mistake of his,” Nehad said.
Although Nehad admits that the GM never actually enforced his departure from the hotel premises, he hopes that Hilton will ultimately educate all its staffers.
“Maybe he didn’t know the law properly, I’m not looking for an apology I’m looking really for something where they can educate themselves so that this doesn’t happen to any other police officer,” Nehad said.
The GM responded in a Facebook post from the hotel Sunday.
“Our hotel is a place of hospitality. We welcome all guests and visitors to our property, especially those in law enforcement who protect and serve our community.
The post stated the following: