Detroit Branch NAACP Launches Investigation into Allegations of Rape and Racial Bias at Southgate Manor

DETROIT, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Detroit Branch NAACP has launched an investigation into the conduct of Southgate Manor nursing home in Southgate, Mich, for placing all of the African American employees of Southgate Manor on administrative leave after a resident of the facility alleged that she had been raped on Monday, October 8, 2012.

"The Detroit Branch NAACP takes all allegations of rape very seriously, and we understand that the Southgate Police is conducting its own investigation," says Atty. Melvin Butch Hollowell, General Counsel, Detroit Branch NAACP. "However, under our federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination, each and every one of these employees is entitled to the presumption of innocence, the constitution's equal protection of the laws, and the right to non-discriminatory treatment under federal statutes and Michigan's Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act. We must jealously vigilantly guard against the trampling of equal rights through broad-brush treatment based on race."

Southgate Manor, a 100-bed facility, is owned by Reginald Hartsfield, who operates 8 nursing homes in Michigan under a company called Advantage Management Group. He has publicly stated that he would do the same thing if such a claim were made about a white employee. This is disputed by an employee of the facility (who has asked to remain anonymous) who indicated to the Detroit Branch NAACP that recently a white employee was accused of fondling a resident at Southgate Manor, but said employee was not suspended and was back on the floor attending to residents within 3 hours.

The Southgate Manor employee who called the Detroit Branch NAACP indicated that white and black employees at the facility are upset and believe this was wrongly handled. The caller further commented that African American employees of the facility who work in areas such as dietary and housekeeping, and who have no contact with residents were suspended along with direct caregivers.

As part of its due diligence, the Detroit Branch NAACP has asked for a meeting with Mr. Hartsfield and has been in communication with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights which has the authority under state law to accept complaints of discrimination, fully investigate, and impose sanctions where appropriate.

The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services ( give Southgate Manor an overall rating of "Below Average," or 2 out of 5 stars.

The Detroit Branch NAACP is the organization's largest branch. For more information on the Detroit Branch NAACP please call (313) 871-2087 or visit

SOURCE Detroit Branch NAACP