Fired Memphis EMT Robert Long testified before the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board on Friday (March 3), where he claimed that police officers obstructed his ability to provide Tyre Nichols with potentially lifesaving care.
Long was among the medical personnel who responded to the Jan. 7 traffic stop after it turned into a violent scene that left Nichols bloodied and injured after he was beaten by five officers. He died three days later.
“MPD is leaning over the patient in his face, saying loudly that the patient is not going anywhere and that they are not going to uncuff him, impeding patient care,” claimed Long. He also told the board that he assessed Nichols upon arrival. He noted that the 29-year-old had a busted lip, a bump on his head, and a dried bloody nose. He further stated that when he asked the Sacramento native what happened, he responded, “I want to stand up and be uncuffed.”
“I did a visual assessment of the patient, and there was nothing that indicated to me that he was critical, with the information that I knew. I was trying to get information from the patient; even the patient didn’t tell me,” said Long. In February, Long and EMT JaMichael Sandridge’s licenses were suspended by the board. Fallout from the assault on the beloved father has come in the form of multiple firings and suspensions across law enforcement and emergency response agencies.
Disgraced ex-officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III and Desmond Mills Jr. have each been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Last month, they pleaded not guilty and are due back in court for a May 1 hearing. RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, has publicly declared that she will attend every hearing as she seeks justice for her son.