Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

Black Hospital Patient Arrested Taking Walk With IV For 'Stealing Medical Equipment'

If you've ever had a hospital stay, you know it isn't very fun. And if you've ever had the chance to get some fresh air during a hospital stay, you know it's a welcome break from the whole hospital thing.

Unfortunately, one patient's routine walk quickly turned into a nightmare.

A black hospital patient says he went for a walk.

Unsplash | Natanael Melchor

Shaquille Dukes, 24, says the incident occurred recently during a hospital stay. Dukes, who's black, says he was racially profiled — and after seeing the video evidence, it's difficult to refute his claim.

He had an IV bag.

These intravenous, or IV, bags use gravity to drip-feed medications into the bloodstream. As a result, they need to be elevated. Dukes took his IV drip with him for his walk.

It's caused an uproar.

Twitter | @SikhProf

This tweet urges others to express their displeasure with something that started as a simple walk and ended, somehow, with a black man being arrested on what would appear to be a totally baseless charge.

It's all on video.

Twitter | @SikhProf

Here you can see police talking to Dukes. His IV drip tower can be seen on the right of the image. This all went down in Freeport, Illinois, which is about 100 miles west of Chicago.

Dukes tried to explain the situation.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

In the video, posted on his Facebook account, Dukes can be seen trying to tell police what's going on. But they suspected he'd stolen the medical equipment, even though he was still clearly in a hospital gown, near a hospital.

It started with a security guard's suspicion.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

Dukes says a hospital security guard called the police after expressing doubt that he was a patient.

His boyfriend began to record the altercation while Dukes tried to explain that they were only on a walk.

"I was livid, I was irate"

Unsplash | Allie Smith

Dukes explained that the guard didn't try to be civil, and instead immediately accused him of theft.

"The first thing he said to me wasn't, 'What's your name? Can I help you?' but 'Are you stealing this?'"

Dukes and his friends were arrested.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

All three were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Two of them were also charged with resisting arrest. To add insult to injury, Dukes was forced to return for his hospital treatment wearing handcuffs.

There's more.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

Dukes says police also confiscated his emergency inhaler. He also says they removed his IV, depriving him of his prescribed medication, though police claim that this was done by an approved medical professional.

Dukes says he suffered an asthma attack.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

He says he was held in the back of a police cruiser and denied access to his inhaler, which prompted the attack. The hospital won't comment on the situation, citing confidentiality reasons.

He thinks that the incident should 'prompt sensitivity training'.

Unsplash | Matt Popovich

Dukes believes that both the police department and the hospital staff should be trained to assess the potential danger of situations rather than acting on assumptions, most of which are motivated through the lens of racial prejudice.

Police are investigating the incident.

Facebook | Shaquille Dukes

Former police chief Mitch Davis has been appointed an investigator for the case, as he served as police chief for 18 years in Hazel Crest, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago.

He is also a member of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Incidents like these are not uncommon.

Unsplash | Marcelo Leal

When institutions aren't given the proper training to interact with different communities, they are much more likely to stereotype and make decisions based on skewed perceptions of reality.

Let us know your thoughts on this story — is it a case of mistaken identity, or racial profiling?