Al Sharpton Pushes for Action After Black Nurse in Michigan Was Forbidden to Touch a White Newborn Baby

4798 A Michigan representative for the Rev. Al Sharpton is demanding answers to allegations that a Flint hospital submitted to a father's request that no African-American nurses care for his newborn.

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaking at The NAACP Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at Cobo Center in Detroit in May 2009. / SUSAN TUSA/Detroit Free Press
The hospital posted a note on the assignment chart that read: "No African American nurse to take care of baby" according to the nurse's lawsuit.

"What does that do to someone's psyche? What does that do to someone's mind? What does that to do someone's soul when they see a sign like that?" the Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network, told the Free Press this morning.

Williams is holding a news conference in Flint today and plans to meet later with the nurse, Tonya Battle, 49, a veteran nurse of the neonatal intensive care unit.

In a lawsuit last month, the African-American nurse claims the hospital prohibited her from caring for the infant because of her race.

Williams said he wants three things to happen: Public funds must be withheld from the hospital until its staff has "sensitivity training," the hospital must settle the lawsuit with Battle, and information needs released about whether the decision-makers at the hospital were disciplined for their actions.

Though it is the father's request that began the case, it is the hospital that must publicly answer questions for its actions, Williams said.

Source: Detroit Free Press | Robin Erb
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