Three EMTs who responded to the fatal assault of Tyre Nichols were fired following an internal investigation, according to the Memphis Fire Department.
On Monday, Robert Long, JaMichael Sandridge and Lt. Michelle Whitaker were all found to have violated department rules and protocols in connection to their response for Nichols on January 7.
“Their Actions Or Inactions That Night Did Not Meet The Fire Department’s Expectations”
In a statement provided by the Memphis Fire Department, all three’s “actions or inactions… that night did not meet the expectations (of the department)” per NBC News.
“Their actions or inactions on the scene that night do not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department and are not reflective of the outstanding service the men and women of the Memphis Fire Department provide daily in our community,” the fire department said in a statement.
Memphis Fire has fired TWO EMT’s and a fire personnel who responded to Nichols’ beating.
Robert Long, JaMichael Sandridge & Lt. Michelle Whitaker.
Whitaker responded but never left the fire truck, they said.
They “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment…” pic.twitter.com/DR6nZLZDBp
— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) January 30, 2023
The three EMTs had been sent to the scene of Nichols’ traffic stop around 8:30 p.m. after receiving a call from dispatch regarding a “person pepper strayed,” per the fire department.
Just ten minutes after the initial call, Whitaker, Sandridge and Long were redirected to a second location, whereupon they discovered Nichols pressed against a police vehicle.
EMTs “Failed To Conduct An Adequate Patient Assessment Of Mr. Nichols,” Fire Department Says
Sandridge and Long tended to Nichols as Whitaker and an EMT driver stayed behind in the vehicle, the outlet reports.
The department’s statement states “the two EMT’s… failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols.”
“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,” the fire department said.
An ambulance and an emergency unit were dispatched around 8:46 p.m. following the two EMTs first interactions with Nichols, the department said.
The emergency unit arrived at the scene around 10 minutes later, and began immediately initiating care before transporting Nichols to a nearby hospital at 9:08 p.m.
Memphis police officers unleashed at least 71 commands at Tyre Nichols. Many were contradictory or impossible. When he couldn’t comply — and even when he managed to — officers responded with escalating force.
See the New York Times visual investigation. https://t.co/pHhxeolvZr
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 30, 2023
Six Police Officers Relieved Of Duties Following Fatal Arrest Of Tyre Nichols
A total of 27 minutes had passed since Long, Sandridge and Whitaker initially arrived at the second location.
Additionally, “two Shelby County deputies and Memphis Fire Department employees” have been relieved of duty.
The Department of Justice and the FBI Memphis Field Office are investigating further regarding if Nichols’ civil rights were violated by police. As The Shade Room previously reported, Memphis authorities made body cam footage of Nichol’s arrest public on Friday.
In the footage, Nichols is seen being violently assaulted by officers who repeatedly struck the 29-year-old as he screamed for his mother.
5 officers charged with murder in Tyre Nichols’ death:
Emmitt Martin III
Desmond Mills Jr.
2 of the officers, Mills and Smith, posted $250,000 bond & were released: @nbcnewshttps://t.co/4fQX13zp42 pic.twitter.com/kj1IWnFnnX
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 27, 2023
Five Officers Now Charged With Murder Of Nichols, Who Died Three Days Later In The Hospital
According to The New York Times, the five officers who have been charged with his murder gave Nichols “at least 71 commands.” The officers’ commands took place within a matter of 13 minutes. And “were often simultaneous and contradictory.”
In addition, their actions continued to escalate and become more violent, even as Nichols complied.
Nichols was taken in critical condition to the hospital, where he died three days later. The Shelby County medical examiner’s office hasn’t released an official cause of death.
Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley, and Tadarrius Bean are the five officers initially arrested for Nichol’s murder. As The Shade Room previously reported, the men have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
According to WLBT, Bean, Smith, and Mills paid their $250,000 bond. While Haley and Martin are still being held on a $350,000 bond. All five officers are expected to appear in court on February 17 at 9 a.m.