Tyre Nichols: Fired Memphis EMT says police impeded care
Memphis, Tennessee –
A former Memphis Fire Department emergency medical technician told the Tennessee board on Friday that police officers “hindered patient care” by refusing to remove Tyre Nichols’ handcuffs.
Robert Long, whose license was suspended and fired for failing to give Nichols assistance, appeared livestreamed before the state’s Emergency Medical Services Board and shared his version of the events. After Nichols fled a traffic stop on May 7, five Memphis police officers punched, kicked, and batoned Nichols during his arrest, before he and another EMT, Jameel Sandridge. provided details of how they responded.
Long and Sandridge were fired by the ministry on January 30. On February 3, his license was suspended by the board after members watched a 19-minute video of him filmed at the scene of the assault. Officials said the EMT was unable to provide assistance to Nichols, who died three days after he was beaten.
The board determined that Long and Sandridge did not undergo a basic emergency medical examination while Nichols was handcuffed to the ground and slumped in a police car, documents obtained by the Associated Press show. Nicholls showed “clear signs of distress, including being unable to maintain a seated position and repeatedly lying on the ground.”
According to documents, both Long and Sandridge failed to initiate primary examinations that could help identify the presence of life-threatening injuries. Nichols’ vital signs were not checked, he was not receiving high-flow oxygen or IV lines, and he was not wearing a heart monitor.
The two paramedics joined Lt. Michelle Whittaker, a third fire department employee, at the location of the arrest. It wasn’t immediately clear.
The five police officers seen beating Nichols in the video have been fired and charged with second-degree murder.
Before Long testified on Friday, his attorney, Darrell O’Neill, said the 19-minute video, which was captured on an elevated pole camera and seen by the committee, had no sound and was not said during the violent arrest. I didn’t catch what it was.
Long gave detailed accounts of what the officers, Nichols, and himself had said.
Long approached Nichols and saw that he had “a bump on his head, a crushed lip, and a dry, bloody nose in both nostrils,” but when asked for his name, he replied, “Tire Nichols.” rice field.
He also said that Nichols stood up and asked him to help him remove the handcuffs.
Long said he repeatedly tried to attach a monitor to Nichols to check his blood pressure and other vital signs, but Nichols rolled away. Long said he interpreted the move as Nichols refusing care and refusing to cooperate.
“He didn’t sit still for the evaluation,” Long said.
Long said he didn’t force the blood pressure cuff on Nichols or hold him down for fear of being accused of assault.
He also asked Nichols if he had been using drugs or alcohol. .
At one point, an officer leaned over Nicholls and “hindered patient care by saying loudly that the patient was not going anywhere and that he was not going to take the cuff off.”
They continued to interfere with his care, Long said.
Eventually Nichols stopped moving and became unresponsive, Long said. An ambulance arrived and Nichols was taken to hospital. Authorities say 27 minutes passed from the time the EMT arrived to the moment the ambulance headed for the hospital.
Matt Gibbs, an attorney with the Tennessee Department of Health, asked Long if a field breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test had been done.
Long also admitted that Nichols had never verbally refused care from an EMT, and spent several minutes without interacting directly with Nichols.
Long’s attorney called in John Holloway, a former Memphis paramedic and paramedic, as an expert to testify. Holloway praised Long’s actions and said that had he touched Nichols, Long might have risked being accused of assaulting him. He said he did not believe Long would be a danger to the public if allowed to reopen.
Holloway also said Long was the lowest-ranking EMT on the scene, and two other fire department employees with longer experience were unable to step in to help.
Holloway also said that Nichols may have stayed away from Long for a number of reasons. suggested that there is
After four hours of testimony and questioning, the board decided to maintain Long’s suspension.