FHN Memorial Hospital said that patient privacy laws prevented them from commenting.
Patient Arrested on Walk Outside Freeport (Ill.) Hospital
An African American patient says he was racially profiled by a security officer and was arrested while he went on a walk outside.
A patient recovering from pneumonia at Freeport Health Network Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Illinois was arrested while taking a walk outside the building.
Shaquille Dukes, who is African American, said he was racially profiled by a white security guard, reports ABC News. He was wearing a hospital gown and hooked up to an IV when he was arrested.
The 24-year-old claimed that what began as a misunderstanding escalated into a confrontation between him and the guard. He was then arrested along with two other men.
“As they began to take me to the car, I told them … I never left the hospital property. And that’s when he [a police officer] turned and said, ‘Well you’re off hospital property now,'” Dukes said.
The incident, which occurred just before 5 p.m. on June 9, was recorded on a cellphone and the footage went viral on Dukes’ Facebook page.
Freeport Police officials released the body camera footage from the officers on duty. The city’s police chief said his officers “handled it in the best way they could…given the situation that they had in front of them.
In a police report, the hospital security guard said after Duke was questioned about why he was leaving the hospital while attached to an IV, Dukes and the two men “got in my face” and began cursing.
According to his report, the hospital guard felt “extremely threatened.”
Dukes said he told the guard that his doctor was aware that he had gone on a walk. To that, he said the security responded, “Well I don’t care what they told you. As far as I’m concerned, this is hospital equipment and you’re attempting to steal it.”
In the video, the security guard is heard telling police officers, “He’s stealing hospital property, basically, by leaving. I don’t care if he was coming back, that’s stealing.”
“Our investigation revealed that at no time did any doctor or nurse give that patient or any patient permission to leave the hospital while still hooked to an IV machine,” Freeport Police officials said. “It was determined that he was likely not trying to steal any of the property. But the charges were supported for disorderly conduct with their actions toward the security guard,”
Dukes said he has filed a complaint with the city.
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