A Black man from Illinois says he was arrested after a hospital security guard racially profiled him and accused him of stealing an IV attached to his arm.
In early June, Shaquille Dukes, 24, battled a tough bout of pneumonia that caused him to be hospitalized. After spending two days at FHN Memorial Hospital, doctors gave Dukes permission to go for a walk outside, as long as he didn’t leave the hospital property, reported ABC News.
Dukes, his brother, and another friend were walking outside on June 9 when a white security guard asked them to approach his vehicle, which was off the hospital’s property. Dukes said although he explained he had permission to be outside with his IV, the security officer accused him of stealing,
According to the Journal-Standard, the security guard also accused Dukes of planning to sell the hospital equipment on eBay.
“[The guard] had gotten out of his vehicle and said, ‘What are you going to do, steal that and sell it on eBay?’” Dukes told the Journal-Standard. “I told him, ‘This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak.’”
Eventually, the security officer called Freeport police officers and reported Dukes for attempted theft.
"I said, 'I explained to you that Dr. Murphy and Jennifer were aware that I came outside -- if you would call and verify with them,'" Dukes told ABC News.
According to Dukes, the police 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."
Freeport police arrested Dukes, his brother and another man for disorderly conduct because of their behavior toward a security officer and police.
Dukes said during the arrest, his IV was removed and he passed out.
A week after his arrest, Dukes shared footage of the incident on Facebook.
In a statement to ABC News, the Freeport Police chief stood by the actions of his officers.
"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 Chief Todd Barkalow told ABC News.
"It was determined that he was likely not trying to steal any of the property. The charges were supported for disorderly conduct with their actions toward the security guard. I think that our officers handled it the best way they could and given the situation that they had in front of them."
The hospital has not commented on the incident.