A black man who is recovering from pneumonia has launched a complaint after being arrested while taking a walk around an Illinois hospital.
Shaquille Dukes from Chicago was simply following doctor’s orders when he went for a walk and met two friends outside the hospital in Freeport.
However, things escalated when a security guard accused him of trying to steal the IV machine he was hooked up to.
In a Facebook post, the 24-year-old explained how police confronted him in a hospital gown and accused him of planning to sell the medical equipment on eBay, before going on to remove the IV drip right there in the street.
Come to Freeport on Vacation and leave on Probation. This is truly one of the most racist cities in America. I was admitted into the hospital for double pneumonia, after receiving doctors orders to walk around, 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.’
Dukes continued to explain how he was on holiday in Freeport when he fell ill, and he told the officers he was being treated for pneumonia and asthma, however claims officers told him ‘I don’t care why you’re here, you’re going to jail.’
On his journey to the city jail, Dukes says he began to have a seizure and an asthma attack.
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 four minutes to retrieve my inhaler from the transporting officer, and finally, when I became unresponsive, it miraculously appeared.
Freeport Police officials released body camera footage from the incident and the department’s chief Todd Barkalow told ABC News he believes it shows the officers ‘handled it in the best way they could given the situation that they had in front of them.’
In mobile phone footage, which was posted on Dukes’ Facebook page, the security guard can be heard saying: ‘He’s stealing hospital property, basically, by leaving. I don’t care if he was coming back, that’s stealing.’
Dukes concluded his post, writing:
I make this post not for pity, but as a beacon of hope for all black and brown minorities dealing with the City of Freeport, we do not have to take this shit any longer!
I’ve shared contact info for a great attorney who is ready and willing to intervene. This ends today, anyone who sees this, and has been served an injustice or was a victim of a crime initiated by Freeport PD, please reach out.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.