Michigan nurse Tonya Battle is suing the hospital she works at after she was allegedly prevented from caring for a child because she is black. Battle says that she was taking care of a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit of Hurley Medical Center when the baby’s father asked to speak with one of her supervisors.
According to The Daily Mail, Battle’s lawsuit states that “The father told the [nurse in charge] that he did not want any African Americans taking care of his baby.”
At some point during the conversation, the man is said to have pulled up the sleeve of his shirt and revealed a tattoo of a swastika. After the exchange, the baby was immediately reassigned to another nurse. It is not known what prompted the man’s actions and his identity has not been revealed at this time.
Battle was “shocked, offended and in disbelief that she was so egregiously discriminated against based on her race and re-assigned,” according to the court documents. In her lawsuit, Battle says that a staff meeting was held to inform the hospital’s nurses of the father’s demands.
If what Battle is claiming is true, it seems as though the hospital made some very questionable decisions here. One of those decisions was someone writing this note: “No African American nurse to take care of baby.”
The lawsuit says that after the note was posted, “African American nurses [like Battle] were not assigned to the baby for approximately the next month because of their race.”