Hertz CEO: ‘We did not get it right’
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The CEO of Hertz says the company has apologized to and refunded a Puerto Rican man denied a rental car at the New Orleans International Airport.
The letter, sent from the company’s chief official, Stephen M. Scherr, to Puerto Rican U.S. Representative Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon on Tues., May 23, admits the company “did not get it right” when Humberto Marchand says he was wrongly denied a rental car even though he had proper identification. They also say Marchand has been refunded.
Despite presenting his Puerto Rican driver’s license, the staff denied him the car on May 9 because he didn’t have a passport.
The ordeal was captured on Marchand’s cell phone and Kenner police bodycam. Eventually, the Hertz attendant contacted law enforcement. After four minutes of being at the scene, the officer tells Marchand to leave.
Sherr says the company has rewritten its policy to make it clear that Puerto Rican driver’s licenses are just as valid as any other state.
“Since this incident occurred, we have taken multiple steps to ensure our team is better trained on our identification policies,” the letter reads. “This includes rewriting a policy to be even more clear about the status of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.”
The letter was written in response to one Gonzalez-Colon wrote Scherr on May 19, asking to better train his employees to keep this from happening again.
Police body camera footage shows Puerto Rican man denied rental car for not having a passport
Kenner Police apologizes for airport incident involving Puerto Rican man
In Kenner police bodycam video, a Hertz attendant refuses to accept his license. The Hertz attendant is heard asking Marchand to stop recording and to leave the desk. They then call the police. After four minutes of being at the scene, the officer tells Marchand to leave.
According to Marchand, he was shocked at the lack of knowledge about Puerto Rican identifications and being singled out for traveling without a passport.
“I feel like a second-class citizen because there are 3.1 million U.S. citizens that live in Puerto Rico. Why do we have to go through this level of scrutiny in 2023?” Marchaund said.
Kenner Police Chief Keith Conley apologized and says an internal affairs investigation has been launched into the officer’s conduct.
Conley says the officer was at the scene to respond to a disturbance call. In a statement, Kenner Police says the officer was only there to, “mitigate the disagreement” between Marchand and the Hertz attendant.
“By nature, we don’t get involved in civil matters. We don’t interpret policies. We don’t get involved in that stuff,” Conley said.
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