FREEPORT (WREX) – A prominent civil rights attorney, who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, is now taking on the case of a controversial arrest in Freeport.
Attorney Ben Crump is representing Shaquille Dukes, the former FHN patient who says he was racially profiled by hospital security and Freeport Police, when he was accused of trying to steal the iv machine he was attached to.
Thursday was Dukes’ first day in court. He’s charged with disorderly conduct stemming from his arrest on June 9th. Crump says the arrest never should have happened in the first place.
“For God’s sake he was in his nightgown with barely nothing under him practically naked, hooked up to an IV drip machine,” said Crump. “The clients entered a plea of not guilty to these bogus charges. The video clearly shows that they did absolutely nothing wrong.”
Police body cam footage shows Dukes was initially arrested for attempted theft. Later officers changed it to disorderly conduct.
On Wednesday, an independent investigation by the chief of police in Hazel Crest found no evidence of misconduct by Freeport Police and said Dukes should have been stopped by hospital security because patients are not allowed outside while being treated.
Crump told 13 WREX that investigation is biased.
“So you have a career law enforcement officer review the actions of law enforcement and they revere that there was nothing wrong with law enforcement did. Breaking news. Water’s still wet,” he said.
If convicted of the charges, Dukes faces up to 30 days in jail. Crump says he will fight the charges and explore every legal possibility to remedy the issue. Dukes’ next court date is August 7.