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Title: Cops Accuse Innocent Hospital Patient of Trying to Steal His IV Bag, Rip IV From Arm, Arrest Him
Source: https://www.journalstandard.com/news/20190617/man-arrested-w
URL Source: https://www.journalstandard.com/new ... -says-he-was-racially-profiled
Published: Jun 17, 2019
Author: Derrick Mason
Post Date: 2019-06-26 05:36:43 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 131

FREEPORT — A man with an IV attached to his arm was arrested last week as he strolled outside of FHN Memorial Hospital.

Police and Shaquille Dukes, the man who was arrested, agree that Dukes had no intention of stealing the hospital equipment attached to his body. But the other details of the case are stirring debate as a video of the June 9 incident circulates on social media.

Dukes, who is black, said he was racially profiled by white security guards and police officers. He said he filed a formal complaint with the city. Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow said he plans to review Dukes’ videos, as well as police footage, and meet with Dukes on Tuesday.

“I’m not just going to sit here and be complacent about what I know is an illegality,” Dukes said.

Dukes, 24, who has lived in Freeport for about a month, said he had been in the hospital for two days with pneumonia when his doctor cleared him to go for a walk outside, as long as he didn’t leave hospital property. Dukes, his brother and another person went for a walk just after 4 p.m. on June 9, but were stopped in the parking lot on their way back into the hospital, Dukes said.

The security officer, who has not been named, demanded that Dukes and his companions walk over to his vehicle parked on the side of the street. The security guard, employed by FHN, then accused Dukes of attempting to steal the hospital equipment, according to Dukes.

“He had gotten out of his vehicle and said, ‘What are you going to do, steal that and sell it on eBay?’” Dukes said. “I told him, ‘This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak.’”

After some banter back and forth, the security officer radioed Freeport police, who were dispatched to the hospital around 4:40 p.m. Dukes said his brother was arrested soon after police arrived and he was arrested a few minutes later. A third man, who recorded the arrests on video, was arrested later.

Dukes said he was told by police that he was under arrest for attempted theft, since he was off hospital property with the medical equipment. He contends that he only left hospital property to make his way to the security officer’s vehicle when ordered to do so.

On Monday, police said Dukes, his brother and the other individual were arrested only because of their conduct toward the security officer and the police officers once they arrived. Dukes was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct, after an investigation revealed he had no intention of stealing the IV stand, said Freeport police Lt. Andrew Schroeder. Police have not been able to confirm whether Dukes had permission to walk outside of the hospital.

“The issue here is that his actions were why he was arrested,” Schroeder said. “Had they been able to engage in a civil discourse with hospital security, we wouldn’t have been called at all.”

“As far as the video goes, all you are seeing is a snippet of a longer incident. I think people need to be careful about rushing to judgment against the police without all the information.”

Dukes said once he was arrested, the IV was removed from his arm and his rescue inhaler was seized.

“Eventually while I was being transported, I passed out and had a seizure,” Dukes said. “When I woke up in the back of the car, I had an asthma attack. I didn’t get my inhaler until probably four minutes later.”

Schroeder said the IV was removed by a professionally-trained FHN employee and that police followed the proper protocol when they realized Dukes was having a medical event.

“An ambulance was summoned for him and he was taken back to the hospital,” Schroeder said. “If we notice an arrestee or detainee is under medical stress, we’re going to get medical attention for them and that’s exactly what officers did in this case.”

FHN released the following statement in response to the video: “We are looking into this but as of now, it is a police matter.”

Dukes is scheduled to appear in court July 11.

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