Louisiana Mother Says Doctor Denied Help to Her Son, Chastised Him Over ‘Gangsta Apparel’

A Louisiana mother says her son was racially profiled by a doctor who denied her son a surgical procedure on the basis of a joke Christmas sweater, reports KATC.

Shelley Jack of Ville Platte, Louisiana, says she took her 17-year-old son, who had been shot, to get a follow-up treatment at Mercy Regional Medical Center. However, according to Jack, the doctor they saw did not approve of his patient’s apparel and used the clothing to make assumptions about the teen’s personal life. The dates of the incidents in question remain unknown as of this writing.

The teen was wearing a red sweatshirt emblazoned with a drawing of a sunglasses-wearing Santa Claus and the words “Gangsta Wrapper” underneath.

“And he looked at him and said, ‘You have the nerve to come in to my office with this gangsta apparel after you got shot in the leg and all the kids got shot due to gangster activity,’” Jack told KATC.

“It’s a joke,” she told the media outlet. “Just a funny shirt.”

Jack said her son was not involved in a shooting and was actually trying to divert a friend away from a fight when shots were fired and the teen was hit in the leg.

After initially receiving treatment, Jack said they were told they would have to get a surgeon to remove the bullet, only for the surgeon in question to refuse to perform the procedure.

“I said, ‘I don’t see the problem, but he can take it off,’ and he said, ‘No, you don’t come into my office with this gangsta gear. That’s disrespectful to me and everyone else in here.’ And he ranted on how he wasn’t going to participate in helping a gang member. That’s what I got from it,” she recalled.

“You could see my son was upset. I was more hurt for him because he’s not a gang member. He’s 17. That doesn’t give him the right to profile him because of something he was wearing,” Jack said.

Jack’s son was eventually able to make an appointment for the surgery from another doctor at Mercy Regional, which, according to its Facebook page, staffs more than 20 physicians and has a 48-bed facility that serves approximately 40,000 patients yearly.

“It hurt my feelings because I know my son, he doesn’t, he’s not perfect, but he trying. He’s in high school about to graduate. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. That doesn’t give him the right to profile him because of something he was wearing.”

Jack is assessing legal measures and has formally filed a complaint with the hospital, which issued a statement to KATC, saying, “Our hospital takes all complaints very seriously. We complete a full investigation on each complaint filed. All complaints are confidential and we maintain the privacy of each patient.”

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