H1N1 sufferer assaulted by emergency room staff at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital

Rev. Vizion Jones

“Racial profiling” occurs on the streets but apparently also in the ER waiting room, according to Rev. Vizion Jones. The start of 2014 was a rough one for Rev. Jones and it was due to get even rougher. He had a temperature of 104.1, nausea, chest pains and breathing difficulty and he was vomiting. When Jones dialed the Atlanta VA Medical Center, he was instructed to call 911 and get to the nearest emergency room. The ambulance came but could only take him to Grady Memorial Hospital because of a service agreement. This was the beginning of a hellish nightmare for Jones. Exhausted and dehydrated in a packed waiting room he collapsed on a nearby gurney. An unidentified Grady Hospital security guard ordered him to move, because the gurney was for emergency use only.

In his weakened condition Rev. Jones stated that he was unable to move. According to Jones, the security guard stated, “Then I will have someone help you move.” Jones found himself confronted by a security guard wearing a sergeant’s hat and was once again ordered to move. According to Jones, when he once again stated that he could not move because of weakness, the unnamed officer stated, “I’m making an executive decision not to treat.” Six guards forcibly removed him from the gurney one punching him in the chest and the other kicking him in the stomach so hard he defecated on himself. He soon found himself handcuffed to the same gurney he was originally asked to get off, placed in the Grady Hospital Detention Area and charged with “Causing a disturbance” and “Breach of peace.” Shortly thereafter, he was transported to the Atlanta City Jail. He attempted to take pictures of his injury and Jones stated a security guard snatched his phone from him. His bond was set at $435, which he paid and was released. Jones returned home and then asked a neighbor to take him directly to the VA. The VA diagnosed Jones and informed he was suffering with the H1N1 Flu Virus and Pneumonia.

Rev. Vision Jones’ story was reported initially by WSB-TV Channel 2 news. Why is this news you may ask? What was he doing? Why did Grady Hospital Security react this way?

Rev. Vizion Jones is 46 years old and an associate pastor at East Atlanta Church, formerly Power of Faith Ministries. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and a currently enrolled student at Morehouse College. But on that day Rev. Jones felt that he was just another poor black man in the Deep South, where it was assumed that he was high on drugs or schizophrenic. “They took my blood, inserted a catheter to take my urine and never took my temperature or vitals again. They asked me if I suffered from PTSD and if I had taken any street drugs. Then they wanted to test me for HIV/AIDS,” says Jones who felt he was a victim of “Racial Profiling in Healthcare.”  “The hospital assumed the worst because I was black. They thought I was a crack head who got a bad piece of crack, and not that I was a human being in distress.”

Rev.  Jones has retained the services of  the Davis Bozeman Law Firm to represent him in this matter.  Rolling out contacted Grady Hospital’s Denise Simpson, Grady Health Systems media relations manager, who offered the following statement:

“We are conducting an internal review of the claims raised by Jones about his encounter with Grady staff. So far, our internal reports differ significantly from what he claims occurred. In fact, it appears that Jones was indeed the aggressor and required restraint by Grady Public Safety staff and APD [Atlanta Police Department] to protect him and other Grady patients. We are cooperating with Atlanta Police in this matter.

“Grady’s Public Safety Officers assist thousands of patients and visitors every day without incident. We are disappointed with his allegations because they are not consistent with our policies and practices here at Grady.”

Rev. Jones stated that since this incident more people have come forward about their treatment at Grady Hospital. “I’m speaking out for the downtrodden. What happened to me will not go unheard.”

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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