Fire Dept. Lieutenant Never Left Truck for Tyre Nichols

She's among 3 Memphis Fire Department employees fired
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2023 10:10 AM CST
Fire Dept. Lieutenant Never Left Truck for Tyre Nichols
A screen at the Smoothie King Center honors Tyre Nichols before an NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Washington Wizards in New Orleans on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

The fallout continues over the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols during an arrest in Memphis:

  • Fire department: The city's Fire Department fired three employees Monday who responded to the scene, reports USA Today. EMTs Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge and Lt. Michelle Whitaker lost their jobs for failing to quickly get Nichols the help he needed, said the department.
  • Timeline: Long and Sandridge first reached Nichols, handcuffed and slumped on the ground against a police vehicle, at 8:41pm and called for an ambulance at 8:46. He was then taken to a hospital at 9:08. Whitaker remained in a fire engine the entire time, per WREG.

  • Weak assessment: "Our investigation has concluded that the two EMTs responded based on the initial nature of the call [person pepper-sprayed] and information they were told on the scene and failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols," the fire department said, per NBC News.
  • 7 officers: The three firings came after Memphis police relieved two more officers of duty, pending investigations that could lead to their dismissals. One was Preston Hemphill and the other was unnamed. Their roles in Nichols' arrest haven't been detailed. The five officers who beat Nichols have been fired and charged with murder.
  • Jarring stat: A New York Times analysis of the video of Nichols' arrest and beating reveals that officers gave him at least 71 commands in 13 minutes. "The orders were often simultaneous and contradictory," the story says. "Officers commanded Mr. Nichols to show his hands even as they were holding his hands. They told him to get on the ground even when he was on the ground. And they ordered him to reposition himself even when they had control of his body." The officers responded with greater force when Nichols couldn't comply.
(More Tyre Nichols stories.)

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