FIRED EMT SAYS MEMPHIS COPS IMPEDED TYRE NICHOLS’ CARE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis Fire Department emergency medical technician told a Tennessee board Friday that officers “impeded patient care” by refusing to remove Tyre Nichols’ handcuffs, which would have allowed EMTs to check his vital signs after he was brutally beaten by police.
Robert Long, whose license was suspended for failing to give aid to Nichols and who has also been fired, appeared by livestream before the state Emergency Medical Services Board to share his version of events. He provided details about how he and another EMT, JaMichael Sandridge, responded after five Memphis police officers had punched, kicked and hit Nichols with a baton during an arrest following Nichols fleeing a traffic stop Jan. 7.
Long and Sandridge were fired by the department Jan. 30. Officials said the EMTs failed to render aid to Nichols, who died three days after the beating.
Long gave a detailed account of what officers, Nichols and he himself said.
Long said he approached Nichols and saw that he had “a bump on his head, a busted lip and a dried bloody nose on both nostrils,” but that he answered “Tyre Nichols” when asked his name.
Long said he repeatedly tried to place a monitor on Nichols to check his vital signs, but Nichols would roll away. Long said he interpreted this movement as Nichols rejecting care and refusing cooperation.
At one point, officers leaned over Nichols and were “in his face, saying loudly that the patient is not going anywhere and that they are not going to uncuff him, impeding patient care,” according to Long.
Eventually, Nichols stopped moving and became unresponsive, Long said. An ambulance arrived, and Nichols was taken to a hospital.