On Monday (Jan. 30), Memphis Fire Department Chief Gina Sweat released an official statement in regard to Tyre Nichols‘ death.
via: Memphis Commercial Appeal
“Our investigation has concluded that the two EMT’s 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,” a statement from MFD read. “After their initial interaction with Mr. Nichols, they requested an ambulance to respond.”
Three Memphis Fire Department employees were fired Monday for what the department described as failing to provide Tyre Nichols an “adequate patient assessment” when they were called to provide medical aid after he was beaten by police officers.
The two emergency medical technicians, Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge, and fire engine driver Lt. Michelle Whitaker were initially called to provide medical aid for Nichols being pepper sprayed.
Long and Sandridge, according to the statement, arrived to the neighborhood at 8:41 p.m. and an ambulance was sent out at 8:46 p.m., arriving at 8:55 p.m.. By 9:08 p.m., Nichols was taken to St. Francis hospital.
Whitaker stayed in the engine the entire time.
“After concluding our internal investigation, it was determined that EMT-B Long, EMT-A Sandridge and Lt. Whitaker violated numerous MFD policies and protocols,” the statement read. “As a result, EMT-B Long, EMT-A Sandridge and Lt. Whitaker have been terminated from the Memphis Fire Department.”
Two personnel, both involved in the “initial patient care of Tyre Nichols,” were confirmed as having been relieved of duty by a spokesperson for the fire department on Jan. 23.
A video of Nichols being beaten is silent, taken from a SkyCop camera at Castlegate and Bear Creek Lane is about 30 minutes long. The camera swivels to show two officers violently pushing Nichols to the ground on his face as he tries to turn over.
Officers then repeatedly punched, kicked and hit Nichols with a baton.
Officers proceed to drag Nichols across the concrete to lean him against a police car. At this point, at least six officers are present.
The minutes stretch on as Nichols lies against the car, with more officers clustering around. At one point, Nichols appears to slump off of the car and lie fully on the ground. He rocks back and forth on the cement, with officers offering no aid.
It is not until 28 minutes into the video that a stretcher is brought for Nichols.
Criminal charges have not been filed against the firefighters.
Five former Memphis Police officers were fired and later indicted for their roles in Nichols’ death. They all face one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and one count of official oppression.
Earlier Monday, a spokeswoman for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said although charges have not been filed against anyone outside of the five former police officers, the DA’s office is continuing its investigation and could bring more charges later.