Freeport, IL — Shaquille Dukes, a 24-year old Black man trying to recover from pneumonia at a hospital in Illinois, was shocked when a security officer approached him and accused him of stealing the IV equipment attached to him. A video showing a police officer who came to arrest him and his brother has gone viral on social media.
Dukes, who had been staying in Freeport for about a month, had been admitted into FHN Memorial Hospital for two days due to pneumonia. His doctor cleared him to go for a walk outside as long as he wouldn’t leave the hospital property.
But as he was walking around with his brother and another person, they were stopped on their way back inside the hospital. A security officer working for FHN, who has not been named, ordered them to come over to him.
“He had gotten out of his vehicle and said, ‘What are you going to do, steal that and sell it on eBay?’” Dukes told Journal Standard. “I told him, ‘This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak.’”
After some argument, the security officer called police. When the police arrived, Dukes said his brother was arrested before he was also arrested a few minutes later. The person recording a video of the arrest was arrested as well.
Dukes said police told him he was arrested for attempted theft for leaving the hospital property with the IV equipment, when he was only forced to do so because the security officer ordered him to come over to him. Still, police claimed Dukes and his brother were arrested for their disorderly conduct toward the security officer and the police officers.
Moreover, when he was being transported to jail, his IV was removed and his rescue inhaler was seized. He passed out and suffered from seizure, but he was only given his rescue inhaler about four minutes later.
Dukes believes he was racially profiled and has since filed a formal complaint with the city. He said, “I’m not just going to sit here and be complacent about what I know is an illegality.”