Hospital patient's racial profiling complaint was 'unfounded,' says third-party investigator

Anne-Marie Kommers - Print  | 

An independent, third-party investigator said a hospital patient's complaints of racial profiling by local police were unfounded, according to a July 10 report released by the city of Freeport, Ill.

Four things to know:

1. The patient, Shaquille Dukes, was arrested with an IV in his arm outside Freeport Health Network Memorial Hospital June 9, along with his brother and one other man. A security officer, who is white, stopped Mr. Dukes, who is black, and accused him of trying to steal medical equipment. The officer eventually called the police, who arrested all three men. Mr. Dukes said he was targeted because of his race and had his IV and inhaler confiscated, among other accusations. He later posted a video of the incident online.

2. The city of Freeport hired Mitchell Davis, chief of police in Hazel Crest, Ill., to carry out the independent investigation. Both the Freeport Police Department and the hospital fully cooperated with the investigation, but Mr. Davis was unable to speak with Mr. Dukes and his two companions, according to the report. All three failed to show up to two scheduled appointments.

3. The report found no hospital employee gave Mr. Dukes permission to leave the hospital, as he had previously claimed, and said Mr. Dukes requested that his IV be removed. The report also found officers made no racially inappropriate remarks during the arrest.

4. The report recommended the Freeport Police Department re-evaluate its policies and procedures for handling individuals who are hospitalized or need medical attention while in custody, despite the report's conclusion that Mr. Dukes' complaints were unfounded.

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