Monday, September 26, 2022

Lawsuit Filed Against Hospital Security Guards Who Beat Black Patient

You’ve heard of driving while Black. Well, how about “looking for your car while Black”? Better yet, how about “looking for your car in a hospital parking lot while being a disoriented kidney patient—while Black”?

According to a lawsuit filed in St. Louis, Missouri, the latter is exactly what 52-year-old Hughie Robinson experienced last year at the hands of the security team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.


But not only was Robinson racially profiled by security guards but according to the suit, he was violently beaten by them all because they suspected he was a car thief instead of a man who simply couldn’t remember where he parked.

From Newsweek:

In April 2021, he spent four days in the hospital, being drugged and prepared for a possible kidney transplant that never came. In a weakened and disoriented state, Robinson was sent home, according to the lawsuit filed in St. Louis Circuit Court.

After he left, the hospital called to say that he had forgotten his wallet. They directed him to park in the garage on Euclid Avenue and Forest Park Parkway. Robinson returned and retrieved the wallet but forgot where he left his car, as he usually parked in a different garage. The confused, wandering patient was spotted by hospital security guards.

Surveillance footage from the hospital showed the armed guards charging at Robinson and forcing him to the ground. Despite his parking garage ticket and patient bracelet, they accused him of looking to steal cars, the lawsuit said.

Even if Robinson wasn’t a patient at the hospital—even if he wasn’t in a disoriented state—there are few things more regular-degular than a person wandering around a parking lot because they couldn’t remember where they parked. But being Black in America means not being able to do something this mundane without someone thinking you look suspicious—and having their physical safety threatened because of it.

“It traumatized him,” Robinson’s daughter, Chelsea Robinson, told Newsweek. “I’ve always known him as the tough cookie, you know, he’s the man of the house. Of course he would push and keep moving on. But you know, I’m his daughter—you know those things. You can tell when the person you care about the most is sad.”

The lawsuit alleges that security guards “tackled and beat” Robinson” and then “kept Hughie handcuffed in an interrogation chamber in the basement of the hospital.”

“In this windowless room, one of the Barnes guards, a tall, heavy-set man with a buzz cut, smashed Hughie’s head into the wall with his forearm,” the suit reads.

Newsweek also reported that in surveillance footage of the interrogation room, two guards can be seen beating Robinson until he cried out that they were hurting him, to which one of the guards replied, “Good.”

The lawsuit claims that even after the security guards finally discovered he was a patient and not a car thief, they continued to mock him and they told him if he was caught “anywhere on the property again,” they would “do this whole thing again.”

To make things even worse, Robinson had to make return visits to the same hospital in order to continue his treatment, and he was always afraid of receiving another beating, his daughter said.

“I already knew he was in pain because of the whole dialysis thing, but he most definitely was in a lot more pain after that incident happened,” Chelsea said. “They really messed him up.”

Sadly, Robinson eventually died from his illness, but his daughter is still representing him in the suit, which accuses the guards and hospital of assault, battery, and false imprisonment.

“It’s important for me to continue the case because my dad deserves to be at peace, and it’s what he would have wanted,” Chelsea told the Atlanta Black Star. “So, it’s only my duty to do right by his name.”


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