Kaiser Permanente (No. 2 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) has dismissed a nurse at its Roseville Medical Center in California for her Facebook comments about Stephon Clark, an unarmed Black man killed March 18 by police in his grandparents’ backyard in Sacramento.
Faith Linthicum of Sacramento, a nurse in labor and delivery, said on Facebook that Clark, 22, “deserved” to get shot by police:
“Yeah but he was running from the police jumping over fences and breaking in peoples houses… why run He deserved it for being stupid.”
Christina Arechiga, an activist, discovered Linthicum’s post. Arechiga posted screenshots of the post, adding the message, “How can we trust our lives, the lives of our Black and Brown babies to these people Nurses are supposed to help people not be happy when people die.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, “Arechiga said Linthicum had messaged her via Instagram, asking whether she had posted something about racism. In the note, Arechiga said, Linthicum told her that she planned to contact an attorney about a defamation lawsuit.”
Linthicum’s comments about Clark were widely circulated on social media. At first, she was placed on administrative leave, and later she was fired.
Kaiser Permanente said in a statement that it “does not tolerate hate or discrimination and has a long history of embracing diversity and inclusion — it remains a place where we welcome everyone.
“We want to emphasize that the comments expressed by this employee, who is no longer with the organization, do not in any way reflect Kaiser Permanente’s views or actions.
“We are very much a part of the wonderful and rich diversity of the communities we serve and feel a deep responsibility to them.
“We are deeply saddened by the events associated with Stephon Clark’s death, and will continue to do our part to make sure the community is healthy, safe and inclusive.”
Clark’s autopsy results revealed that he was shot eight times and six of the bullets went in his back. Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who is widely known for his work on brain injuries and how they affect football players, performed the autopsy.
He also said his autopsy results suggest that Clark was not facing officers at the time of the shooting.
“The proposition that has been presented, that he was assailing the officers, meaning he was facing the officers, is inconsistent with the prevailing forensic evidence as documented at autopsy,” Omalu said.
He determined Clark took three to 10 minutes to die. Police waited about five minutes before giving him medical aid.