Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana said there isn't enough evidence to charge a 54-year-old physician who was accused of punching a Southern University student-athlete and using racial slurs against her while she was exercising along a running trail.
According to WBRZ, detectives cleared the accusation against Shane McKinney last Thursday, unable to prove the alleged racially motivated attack. He was booked into jail on Wednesday on a simple battery charge, but then released on a $10,000 bond.
#BREAKING: BRPD have arrested 54-year-old Shane McKinney in connection to Monday’s alleged attack of a Southern University student athlete while running the LSU lakes. McKinney is accused of punching the woman and yelling racial slurs. He’s charged with simple battery. pic.twitter.com/n5g3ZvhP2F
— Gerron Jordan (@GerronJordan) November 12, 2020
The doctor was accused of punching the student in the chest and using the n-word before running away in the incident which was reported last Monday, KATC reported. The Southern University athletic director confirmed the woman as a student-athlete at the school. Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr., described the student as a 22-year-old Black woman who is a member of the school's track team, NBC News reported.
"The suspect quickly ran away from the area after the incident occurred," McKneely said in a statement.
According to KATC, McKinney's LinkedIn page lists him as a physician specializing in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. His education profile includes degrees from Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Search engines also identify the 54-year-old as a physician at Our Lady of the Lake. However, McKinney's profile has been removed from the hospital's website. In a statement to KATC, Our Lady of the Lake said the hospital has "placed the physician on administrative leave pending a thorough internal investigation" and further action may be considered.
"We don’t tolerate hate, racism or violence by any member of our organization against another person. We take the allegations placed against one of our physicians seriously and understand their gravity," the hospital stated. "We place the well-being of our patients, teams and community at the forefront of everything we do."
Shortly after the allegation surfaced, employees at the hospital received an internal email from president and CEO Scott Wester, The Advocate reported.
"Baton Rouge police have identified one of our employed physicians as the suspect in an alleged racially motivated attack that surfaced online and in the media Tuesday evening," the email stated without disclosing the doctor's name or title.
A spokesman for Our Lady of the Lake said the hospital has agreed to work together with Southern University to fight against racism in the community. Southern University athletic director Roman Banks also released a statement, asking the community to work together for peace.
“We call on the city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas to unite in creating change by communicating our beliefs and embracing our differences in order to eradicate racism and social injustice in our community,” Banks stated.
Statement from SU Athletic Director Roman Banks on Monday’s Incident. pic.twitter.com/G05iAjVts1
— Southern U. Sports (@SouthernUsports) November 10, 2020
McKinney faced similar accusations during the summer when a woman said the doctor hit her as she was running and caused her to fall, WAFB reported.
The Baton Rouge man was investigated for simple battery complaints in that incident, but he didn't face charges.