A photo of Tyre Nichols is positioned prior to a press conference on January 27, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died three days after being severely beaten by five Memphis Police Department officers during a traffic stop on January 7, 2023. Memphis and cities across the country are bracing for potential unrest when the city releases video footage from the beating to the public later this evening. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 5:51PM PT – Monday, January 30, 2023
The Memphis Fire Department has relieved three staff members from duty after failing to assist Tyre Nichols as he lay dying.
In a statement issued by Fire Chief Gina Sweat on Monday, she said that the three fire department employees “violated numerous policies and protocols.”
“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,” Sweat said.
Two emergency medical technicians, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, and Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker were let go after it was uncovered that the two EMTs had ‘failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment’, and that the three of them did not ‘meet expectations’ in their actions.
“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.
Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said her office has not uncovered any evidence to support the assertion that Nichols was stopped for reckless driving, even though the stop was for that reason. Before Nichols fled, officers gave him contradicting orders while ordering him to the ground. Officers pursued Nichols and shocked him as he ran. Before being beaten, he was repeatedly pepper-sprayed about 80 yards from his mother’s house. Three days later, he passed away.
So far, seven officers have been fired along with the two EMTs and a lieutenant.
Prosecutors announced last week that five of the seven officers were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault,