The daughter of a late Black kidney patient wants justice against the security guards who attacked and wrongly detained him, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The shocking incident begins with Hughie Robinson heading back to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after staff told him he left his wallet there. Just a few days before, the patient, who has stage four renal failure, got the good news: he was second in line for a possible kidney transplant.
After retrieving his wallet, Robinson came back to the Kingshighway garage and couldn’t find his Buick. He asked the front desk and even a security guard for help as he continued looking for his vehicle. This reportedly caught the attention of other security guards, who started suspecting he was looking for cars to steal, reporters learned.
That’s when the guards start approaching Robinson and forcefully grabbed his arm, which was tender from a procedure, according to a lawsuit filed last year against Barnes-Jewish. The then 52-year-old man allegedly asked them, ‘What did I do?’ before one of the guards tackled him, the filing claims. Then security allegedly started beating him up — including the guard tasked with helping Robinson search for his Buick.
“Hughie cried out that the guards were hurting him. At least one of the guards responded, ‘Good.’ The guards then forced Hughie into a pair of handcuffs. All of this was on video,” the lawsuit alleges.
The document says Robinson was taken to an interrogation room, where hospital security asked him what he was doing in the garage. The lawsuit also claims an officer used “his forearm to smash Hughie’s head into the wall” while another threatened the kidney patient.
“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.”
Robinson just finished a four-day stay at the hospital when the vicious assault happened, according to reporters, adding that he was drugged and “in a weakened state” when security allegedly beat him up.
That following June, Robinson filed a lawsuit against the hospital for assault, battery, and false imprisonment, but he later died from his illness. Now his daughter, Chelsea, is seeking justice on her late father’s behalf.
“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 … his words exactly,” she told the Atlanta Black Star. “So, it’s only my duty to do right by his name.”
She finally got to see the surveillance video after St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Joan Moriarity reversed a protective order that kept the footage from getting released. She says watching the video left her heartbroken.
“He was just standing there, not doing anything,” the daughter told reporters.