A Southern California hospital is looking into a racial display aimed at several African-American employees who work in the hospital’s IT department.
Officials at Kaiser Hospital Riverside in Southern California were shocked to hear that Xavier Fields arrived at work, only to find a mannequin near his work station that had a racial slur written on a post hanging from its chest.
“It’s somebody who works within. It’s a locked area. You don’t get back there,” Fields told NBCLosAngeles.com.
The doll had its face painted black and was dangling from a rope around its neck.
“You’re not sure what to think,” said colleague Tyree Hale. “I got a supervisor and I let them know what’s going on.”
The employees said they did not see signs that their complaint launched an immediate investigation.
They gave the doll to a manager and said they were so stunned — even scared — that they didn’t file a police report, but left it to the hospital to handle.
Kaiser issued a statement which read: “We are moving to investigate the matter and will take appropriate action. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination in our workplace and will take all appropriate measures to address the full scope of this situation.”
Hospital officials are expected to meet today with Riverside, Ca. police to discuss the incident. Police officials have said they will investigate it as a hate crime.
Still, the workers say they’re not entirely confident in the investigation.
“I’m not for sure,” said Hale, who is also black. “I went to the boss and let them know what was going on.”
Hale said he believes the doll was aimed at him since he is the first of his co-workers to arrive at work in the morning.
Asked why he didn’t file a police report, he said, “Sometimes we just shine it off because we’re just trying to stay working and pay our bills.”