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A St. Louis man was detained and aggressively interrogated outside of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, by officials who presumed he was looking to steal cars.
On June 28, 2021, Hughie Robinson, a 52-year-old man, spent four days being drugged and prepared to receive a kidney transplant that never came. Robinson was on the shortlist for a kidney transplant, and he is a kidney patient suffering from stage 4 renal failure.
After he left the hospital, the workers called to inform him that he had forgotten his wallet. They then directed Robinson to the garage on Euclid Avenue and Forest Park Parkway.
Robinson returned and got his wallet but forgot where he parked his Buick. This was a different garage than where Robinson usually parked.
Naturally, he asked the front desk for assistance and was spotted roaming the garage in search of the car by hospital security guards.
While looking for the car, officials thought Robinson searched for cars to steal. Instead of asking Robinson for his parking ticket, they tackled him to the ground, took him into a room, and interrogated him.
After Black kidney patient dies, his daughter picks up where the lawsuit left off
The three officials also failed to recognize that Robinson had a patient bracelet on his wrist for his four-day stay. Instead, they asked him what his purpose was in the garage. Then, the officers began rushing toward Robinson, according to surveillance footage, and brutally forcing him to the ground.
Unfortunately, Robinson passed away from his illness before being able to continue the case; therefore, his daughter, Chelsea Robinson, is picking up where he left off, hoping to receive the justice her father couldn’t. She is representing her father in the lawsuit, suing Barnes-Jewish Hospital for battery, assault, and false imprisonment, violating his civil rights, according to the Missouri Human Rights Act.
According to the lawsuit filed by Louis Circuit Court, officials used “his forearm to smash Hughie’s head into the wall.”
However, the violence did not stop there, as the officers went on to make threats at Robinson.
“If one of my officers or WashU officers see you back on this property again, we’re going to do this whole thing again cause you ain’t supposed to be here. You cool with that?… don’t come back.”
Despite discovering Robinson was a patient and not stealing cars, the staff mocked his older Buick, according to the lawsuit. Robinson had to return frequently to the hospital for his kidney condition. He often asked his lawyer Rick Voytas to help him avoid another beating from guards by accompanying him to appointments.
“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; they really messed him up,” Chelsea stated.
Hospital security on the defense after filing of lawsuit
After security “tackled and beat” Robinson, “Barnes kept Hughie handcuffed in an interrogation chamber in the hospital’s basement. 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.”
Surveillance footage shows two guards beating Robinson, and he cried out that they were hurting him, while one of them replied, “Good.”
Chelsea believes the three officers racially profiled her father, saying, “He’s a Black male searching for his vehicle. I don’t want to point fingers; I want justification for the fact that they put their hands on my father, and nothing happened. They got away with it.”
Chelsea claims that the security guards were never fired or suspended. She wants justice for her father and to see the officers held accountable for their actions.
Although the lawsuit will not bring her father back, Chelsea is provided with clarity knowing she got him the justice he was fighting for before his death.