Home healthcare nurse, Stephanie Dash, claims she was racially profiled while caring for her white patient in Franklin, Tenn.
Dash, who is Black, stated that she noticed an officer peeping through the window and then that same officer proceeded to knock on her patient’s door. Dash answered the door and the officer asked where the woman who lived in the house was. That officer further explained that the sheriff’s department received a call saying someone in the neighborhood looked suspicious.
“The patient informed her that I was her home health nurse, and confirmed that I was supposed to be there,” Dash wrote in a Facebook post describing the incident.
In fact, the patient confirmed twice that Dash was indeed supposed to be in the house.
Once the verification was made by the patient, that should have been the end of any police business. However, Deputy Rhonda Casillas continued asking the patient questions regarding Dash’s presence.
The frustrated nurse even went as far as showing the deputy her work credentials. Casillas continued to question Dash.
Dash stated: “I had nursing equipment in my work bag with my company logo on it. I had on scrubs and everything, stethoscope hanging from my neck. She still was not convinced, so I went to my car [and] gave her my ID. Even with my ID she continues to question me to the point where I said okay, I’m calling my company immediately.”
Dash called her employer, who also verified her identity, and the employer asked the deputy- point blank- if Dash was being interrogated because she was black.
Casillas denied the allegation. She responded that she just wanted to know what Dash was doing in the neighborhood. As if, Dash’s scrubs, stethoscope and work badge weren’t obvious indicators of why she was in the neighborhood.
The nurse asked the deputy to return her work badge and Casillas, allegedly, refused at first.
“[She] stood there for a few minutes, just looked at me and then handed it back,” Dash wrote on Facebook. “I went back inside to try and finish my visit up with my patient.”
Dash attempted again to finish the visit with the patient and claimed Casillas started with the questions, again.
Upon finishing the patient’s care, Dash tried to leave but to no avail. The deputy, according to Dash, refused to move her car to let her leave.
Dash, who was now visibly angry, stated: “Not only did you interrupt my patient care that she needed more than once, you also delayed me from getting to other patients. [You] wanted me to be a criminal, you didn’t want me to be a nurse and you definitely did not want me in that neighborhood.”
Finally, Casillas moved her vehicle and allowed Dash to leave.
Dash’s employer, Amedisys Home Health, has filed a report regarding the incident and an investigation is pending. Dash also filed a complaint with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office (WSCO).
Casillas is still on active duty while an investigation takes place.