Questions After Death of Man At Hands of Security Guard at VCU Medical Center
Cases of deaths at the hands of police officers and security guards have made headlines over the last 12 months ever since an African American man was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, by a police officer.
In the latest incident to make headlines the family of a 64-year-old man who died at the hands of a security guard at VCU Medical Center, have accused the guard of using disproportionate force.
Philip Whitaker’s family recently took him off of life support. Whitaker was a retired carpenter who came to pick up his medicine last Friday, according to reports. He got into an altercation with the guard. Vickie Fields, an eyewitness, was at VCU’s outpatient pharmacy when she says she saw a security guard approach Whitaker.
“He was actually walking past me, when the altercation happened… the security guard said to him, ‘You need to go to the back of the line,’” she said. She said the security guard then threw Whitaker to the floor. She said there appeared to be no reason for the violent action.
Whitaker was taken to the hospital with what Richmond Police described as a serious head injury. He died just two days later.
Media reports said detectives have interviewed the guard and expect charges will be filed in due course. VCU says the guard is a contract worker and is no longer working at the pharmacy.
Richmond police are consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
“We are heartsick about this tragedy. Our first concern is for the family and we are doing everything we can to support them,” VCU said in a statement.
The Richmond Police Department is heading the investigation, and has looked at surveillance video of the incident and interviewed eyewitnesses. This is a terrible and shocking death that appears to have been unprovoked. We have seen police and security guards using disproportionate force across the country in recent months including in Norfolk, Virginia. There is never any justification.
Family members of those who have lost a loved one often have legitimate grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a police department or another government entity. A lawsuit can’t bring back a loved one but it can help meet some of the many expenses associated with a death. See our information about what you can claim in a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.