COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Health President Michael Lawson released a statement Wednesday regarding the incident involving three of its security officers that happened Monday.
Three officers were suspended pending the completion of an investigation into al altercation with a man just outside the front doors of the hospital.
A video shared on Facebook shows the officers confronting the man outside the hospital Monday night. The video shows the man, 38 year old Shelton Adams, taking a step toward the officers and then being shoved back. Adams then appears to flick a cigarette toward an officer who then pepper sprays him and hits him with a baton. The three officers then wrestle Adams to the ground.
According to a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the hospital says an initial investigation found the officers followed recognized protocols, but they believe there was an opportunity to exercise more compassion.
The last couple of days have given us a lot to think about. Including me.
It’s provided an opportunity for us to reflect on what matters most—which is putting our patients and their families first by always living our values.
In a world where we are judged by our actions, we feel it is important for us to lead by example and acknowledge what happened Monday evening when 3 of our protective service officers were in an altercation with Mr. Adams, a visitor at Grant.
While our initial investigation shows that our protective service officers did follow recognized protocols, we believe there was an opportunity for our team to look beyond their official training and exercise more compassion, coupled with good judgement, in engaging with Mr. Adams.
Patients and visitors entering our hospitals are often under great stress and we must always be attune to their concerns and needs.
We have to be overly diligent in working to assess those needs to effectively and respectfully de-escalate situations like this.
We are using this recent situation as an opportunity to pause and learn so we can determine appropriate action to take. We will be further evaluating how we could have handled this situation differently and learn from experts who can share additional perspectives.
Likewise, we will look to engage everyone throughout OhioHealth with our learnings to continue to set the bar high for all of us.
We deeply regret what happened. As a faith-based organization, we take very seriously our obligation to care for our patients, their families and the community at all times and this starts with honoring the dignity and worth of each person. Thank you.
Adams was detained by the officers until Columbus police arrived and arrested him on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Adams sister, Robin Adams, tells NBC4 her brother has a history of mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She says Shelton Adams lives a couple of blocks from Grant Medical Center and occasionally eats in the hospital cafeteria.