Two corpsmen at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida have been removed after sharing images of themselves inappropriately handling newborns and calling the babies “mini Satans.”
The employees posted a Snapchat video of a staff member moving an infant’s arms so that it looked like the baby was dancing while 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” plays in the background. They also posted a photo of an employee holding up her middle finger to a newborn with the caption: “How I currently feel about these ‘mini Satans.’”
Facebook user Denisa Shellito, who claims to be a former classmate of the Snapchatter, posted the video and photo on Facebook and wrote, “A girl I went to high school with is a navy nurse and this is how her and her shitty friend treat the babies that have just been born. My blood is literally boiling and I want to snitch bc that is someone’s child. The first pic is her friend who is making the baby dance and she’s playing rap music in the background. I’m LIVID and I’m snitching bc she should get fired from her job but idk how to go about it. Pissed isn’t even the words.”
Shellito’s post, which had been shared more than 330,000 times by Wednesday evening, identifies the staff member as Allyson Thompson. CBS46 identifies the other staff member involved as Joanie Barrett.
The hospital shared a statement on Facebook Monday, saying the video is “outrageous, unacceptable, incredibly unprofessional, and cannot be tolerated.” The statement continued, “We have identified those involved― two staff (not nurses as reported on some sites). They have been removed from providing patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice. We’ve notified the patient’s parents.”
The former employees are being criminally investigated, News4Jax reports.
In a statement shared on Wednesday, Navy Surgeon General Forrest Faison said that he has directed “immediate mandatory all-hands stand downs within 48 hours at all Navy Medicine commands to review our oaths, our pledges, our reasons for serving, as well as Navy Medicine’s policy regarding use of personally owned phones and other recording devices.”
He also said that commanding officers have been ordered to ensure no other patient photos exist on social media and personal cell phones in patient care areas have prohibited “until further notice.”
He added, “Additionally, I have directed all commanding officers to personally contact current mothers and expectant mothers planning to deliver in one of our facilities to reassure them, inform them of our actions, and address any of their concerns.”
Correction: In a previous version of this story, we reported that the newborns were black. The hospital has not officially released information on the race of the babies. We regret the error.