Apparently, Black people can’t even be sick in peace.
Shaquille Dukes, 24, found that out after he was arrested by police on charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct…after a security guard called cops claiming that Dukes was trying to steal medical equipment.
As it turns out, CNN reports, Dukes was just going for a walk on June 9 outside of FHN Memorial Hospital in Illinois while hooked up to an IV drip when he says he was racially profiled by the white officers.
In a Facebook post describing the incident, Dukes explained that he had traveled to Freeport on vacation when he was admitted into the hospital for double pneumonia. Dukes was following doctors’ orders to walk around when, he writes “I was stopped by an overzealous, racist, security officer who claimed that I ‘was trying to leave the hospital to sell the IV equipment on eBay.'”
“I told the Sgt I was being treated for pneumonia and asthma, and his words were ‘I don’t care why you’re here, you’re going to jail’,” the post continued. “They took my rescue inhaler and began to transport me to the city lockup, while in transit I began to have a seizure, and subsequently am asthma attack, I pleaded with officers for almost 4 minutes to retrieve my inhaler from the transporting officer, and finally, when I became unresponsive, it miraculously appeared.”
In the video footage taken from the incident, Dukes could be seen dressed in a hospital gown being handcuffed by an officer.
Dukes’ brother and boyfriend, who were with him at the time were also charged with disorderly conduct. Two of the men were also charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest.
“I was livid, I was irate,” Dukes told CNN. “The first thing he said to me wasn’t, ‘What’s your name? Can I help you?’ but ‘Are you stealing this?'” Dukes said his boyfriend began recording the encounter, as Dukes was trying to explain to the security guard that they were on a walk.
Now, almost a month later, Dukes is still waiting for justice.
“We really wanted to truly see reform or policies stood up around this situation and that has not happened,” he said.”And it’s clear it won’t happen without some outside oversight.”
Dukes has filed a complaint against the Freeport Police Department, “alleging unfair and biased conduct by the responding officers.” The police force said that it had secured an outside, third-party investigator to “gather the facts, interview all the parties involved and determine whether officers conducted themselves in adherence to department policies and guidelines.”
Dukes said that he has spoken with city officials and a representative from the hospital, however, he added that the hospital representative’s comments threw him off.
“He said pretty much, ‘we wanted to give you this opportunity for this dialogue, but we really just want to figure out what are you proposing? What would look like victory to you in this situation?'” Dukes said.
“I told him if you’re insinuating there’s some monetary — something that could make this go away, I said you’re ignorant,” he added. “It’s insulting and I feel like I’m being handled and I ended the meeting,” he said.