A Black man cries racism after he was arrested outside the hospital while taking a doctor-prescribed walk. The man attached to an IV was accused of theft and withheld his medication by officers who transported him to jail.
Picture this. You’re at a hospital getting treatment and when doctors advised you to take a walk attached to an IV, you obey. What happens next is the astounding story of this patient who finds himself being arrested during his leisurely hospital walk.
24-year-old Shaquille Dukes was wrongfully arrested in the worst possible way. He was seeking treatment for his pneumonia when cops suspected him of theft.
“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 recounted his story on Facebook where he also shared a clip of the unfortunate incident. According to him, he was visiting Freeport on vacation and left on probation.
“This is truly one of the most racist cities in America,” Dukes wrote before launching into an account of the events that led to his arrest.
Dukes said he was admitted into FHN Memorial Hospital for pneumonia and received orders from doctors to walk around. As he did, the following scene that unfolded left him with a bitter sting that screamed racist.
“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 wrote.
“After a brief conversation, the guard called the police, I was advised by Sgt. Jeff Zalaznik, badge number 116, that I was being arrested for attempted theft, of the IV equipment that was clearly attached to my arm.”
“I don't care why you're here, you're going to jail,” he recalled the cop saying.
Because his brother was with him, he was also arrested along with Dukes. Moreover, Dukes added,
“Under the direction of Sgt Zalaznik, officers stood by and watched while my IV was removed on the sidewalk, and it was NOT by a doctor.”
“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,”
Despite explaining to cops that he was under treatment for pneumonia and asthma, Dukes was met with an unsympathetic response. “I don't care why you're here, you're going to jail,” he recalled the cop saying.
His situation got worse when the authorities took his inhaler and began to transport him to jail. This prompted a seizure and an asthma attack while he was being transported.
“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,” Dukes recalled.
"We do not have to take this shit any longer!”
The incident, Duke said was a glaring example of the kind treatment people in Freeport had to deal with.
“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!” Dukes said.
“This ends today,” he adds after revealing he’s in contact with a lawyer to deal with the legal matters of his complaint.
Dukes shared a clip of the incident which has gone viral. This week, he filed a racial profiling complaint. Meanwhile, the Freeport Police department is currently investigating the matter and urges the public not to rush into judgment without hearing their side. The hospital did not comment on the matter.
The incident Dukes was subjected to has been coined in headlines as a case of being hospitalized while Black. This reminds us of several other incidences when Black individuals were arrested just because they were Black. A Yale student who was sleeping while Black found herself being questioned by police after a White student reported her for napping in her dorm. Meanwhile, a man who was shopping while Black was accused of theft.
Many other stories of Black men and women being reported to the police for the simplest of reasons have gone viral painting a sad picture of the extent of racism in the country. As Dukes said, he hopes the spread of their stories would be a “beacon of hope” for the minorities who are often the subject of these absurd arrests.