A white pediatrician was arrested on Wednesday and charged with simple battery after he physically and verbally assaulted a Black Southern University student earlier this week.
Shane McKinney, a 54-year-old pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested on a battery charge against a 22-year-old Black student-athlete who was walking by the lakes near Louisiana State University’s campus on Sunday, Nov. 9.
The student, who is a member of Southern University’s track team and has not been identified, said she was walking on a path around 4:30 that afternoon with another person when she saw McKinney running toward them.
She said McKinney yelled at the pair to get out of his way, before striking her in the chest and shoulder with his elbow. She also said he shouted the N-word at her. Police contacted the witness, who corroborated the story.
“The suspect quickly ran away from the area after the incident occurred,” said Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely Jr.
The witness took several pictures of McKinney to aid in his identification.
McKinney was arrested Wednesday after police announced they were seeking a suspect involved in an attack near LSU. The victim identified him in a photograph lineup. He has been charged with simple battery and was released Wednesday on $10,000 bond. He maintains his innocence.
The Baton Rouge Police Department said there is not “enough evidence to prove that this was racially motivated.”
But the Southern University sports department released a statement via Twitter, asserting the incident was racially motivated.
“As a department, we call on the city of Baton Rogue and the surrounding areas to unite in creating change by communicating our beliefs and embracing our differences in order to eradicate racism and social injustice in our community,” the statement said.
McKinney has previously been involved in similar physical incidents on the trails by the lakes. In July, a woman alleged that McKinney struck her in the shoulder while running past her.
In another incident, he nudged walkers as he passed by them. The incident was investigated as a simple battery case, but no charges were filed.
McKinney has been placed on unpaid leave from the hospital pending an investigation.