Bodycam footage captured the moment a Puerto Rican man was denied a previously booked car rental because he had an “out-of-country” ID.
Staff at the Hertz rental car counter at New Orleans International Airport called the police on Humberto Marchand last week after he demanded that his driver’s license issued in the US territory be accepted as a form of ID.
According to Mr Marchand, a female employee claimed that he was a foreigner and couldn’t rent a vehicle without showing his passport. She appeared to be under the wrong impression that Puerto Rico is not part of the US, citing a policy that does not apply to Mr Marchand as he is indeed an American citizen.
After an argument unfolded between Mr Marchand and the Hertz employee, the latter called authorities and claimed the customer turned “irate” when he was denied service.
Footage from the bodycam of the officer who responded to the incident was exclusively obtained by FOX 8.
“Maybe you can understand the words coming out of my mouth a little bit more clearly for the third time, if they say you need a passport, and you don’t have one… what is your problem?” the officer responded. “It is midnight. This is ridiculous. We are not going to do this crap anymore.”
Four minutes into his interaction with Mr Marchand, the officer asked him to leave the business.
Mr Marchand says that he made the reservation for the car rental back in April.
Hertz has since issued an apology and gave Mr Marchand a refund., while a video that he recorded showed a company manager asking him to leave.
Hertz rental car employees in Louisiana treat a Puerto Rican man like he’s a foreigner and deny him a rental car that he’s already paid for. That’s the gist and facts of the story. But it doesn’t in there. Watch for the resolution and takeaway. pic.twitter.com/ShXKKSBmB6
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) May 13, 2023
Mr Marchand has served 25 years as a federal law enforcement officer before retiring.
When Mr Marchand decided to leave he said he heard the officer say he would call “the border authorities” if he needed.
A spokesperson for Kenner Police Department denied that the comment was made. Bodycam footage appears to show the officer saying, “You’re not going to cause any disturbances.”
Mr Marchand said that Hertz initially responded to him and said the employee was right.
Subsequently, it said to CBS News that the company “accepts Puerto Rican driver’s licenses from our customers renting in the US without requiring a valid passport”.
“We sincerely regret that our policy was not followed and have apologized to Mr Marchand and refunded his rental,” the company was quoted as saying to the outlet.
“We are reinforcing our policies with employees to ensure that they are understood and followed consistently across our locations.”