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Lansing Resident Files Complaint Against Sparrow With Michigan Department Of Civil Rights

Sparrow Hospital
WKAR File Photo

A Lansing resident has filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights following an alleged racist incident between a Sparrow Hospital employee and her son.

Tashmica Torok said a Sparrow Hospital department supervisor made a comment to her 17-year-old son while he was receiving his COVID-19 vaccine.

“A person who had power over my son's vaccination made statements to him about becoming a police officer out of context, following multiple murders across the country of Black and brown people at the hands of police violence," she said.

According to Torok, the supervisor went out of her way to let her son know that it's hard to be a police officer these days. She believes he was targeted because he’s Black.

“We don't live in a world where even my Black 17-year-old can go and get his COVID shot without being confronted by police propaganda. And that's not okay with me," she said.

The incident took place the same week Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. Torok said it showcases the culture at Sparrow and the work they need to do to prevent acts of racism from continuing to happen.

"What we're really hoping will happen is that Sparrow Hospital will figure out a way to protect Black and brown community members from this sort of toxic white supremacist behavior," she added. 

In a statement, Sparrow Health System spokesperson John Foren called the incident a misunderstanding, adding that the hospital is working towards a resolution to the situation.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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