There is new information surrounding what happened on the scene after 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten by several Memphis police officers on Jan. 7. The head of the union representing the Memphis Fire Department affirmed that the cops who called for medical assistance withheld prominent details from responding EMTs.
EMTs Robert Long, JaMichael Sandridge, and Lt. Michelle Whitaker were fired. Additionally, Long and Sandridge had their medical licenses suspended on Feb. 3 after failing to “conduct an adequate patient assessment” of Nichols as he was handcuffed leaning against the squad car. The emergency medical services board saw that neither Long or Sandridge checked Tyre’s vitals, conducted an examination or gave him oxygen.
Thomas Malone, president of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association, stated in a letter to city council members that the fired EMTs were not given all of the information needed to provide the right help for the father of one. “Our members were not given adequate information upon dispatch or upon arrival of the scene,” he wrote. “Quite frankly, there was information withheld by those already on the scene which caused our members to handle things differently than they should have.”
Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat also stated that department received a call from the cops saying that a man had been pepper-sprayed. “They were reacting to what they saw, what they were told at the scene,” Sweat said to the city council members. “Obviously, they did not perform at the level that we expect, or that the citizens of Memphis deserve.” Long, Sandridge and Whitaker have since then appealed their terminations.
While five of the police officers face murder charges for the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols, two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies were suspended as well. Thirteen officers in total are now under investigation for their involvement in Nichols’ death.
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