Memphis EMT who was fired claimed that police refused to take Tyre Nichols’ handcuffs and obstructed his care.

A fired Memphis EMT who responded to the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols testified that police were "impeding patient care" when they refused to take the handcuffs off of Nichols.

An EMT from Memphis who was fired after responding to the fatal beating by Tyre Nichols, testified that police “impede patient care” when Nichols refused to be handcuffed.

Robert Long, a former Memphis Fire Department EMT, described the Jan. 7 incident before the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board Friday.

Long stated that he received a call from JaMichael and Long regarding an assault on a police officer. Long stated that the officer claimed he was pepper sprayed by his accomplice but didn’t require medical attention when they arrived.

Fired Memphis EMT Robert Long. Memphis Fire Dept.

Long and Sandridge were instructed by the officer to move to another location where Nichols was being held by police.

Long testified that he had done a visual assessment on Nichols before he arrived. He noticed that Nichols had a bump in his head, a broken lip, and a dry bloodied nose. Long testified that he asked Nichols about what had happened, and Nichols replied, “I want my freedom and to stand up.”

According to the former EMT, he asked police about what had happened and they replied that he “ran from us.”

Long stated that at one point, “MPD is leaning on the patient in his face, saying loudly that the patients isn’t going anywhere and they aren’t going to uncuff them, impeding patient treatment.”

Long claims that he tried to get Nichols’ vitals several times, but Nichols kept moving away. Long explained to the board that Nichols was handcuffed making it difficult for him to check his vitals.

Long eventually called an ambulance.

Nichols, 29 years old, was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Three days later , he passed away .

Feb. 18, 202302:13

Although Memphis police initially claimed they had pulled Nichols over for reckless driving, Police Chief Cerelyn Davis stated that her office has not found any evidence to support the claim. In a video, officers appear to have pepper sprayed Nichols, punched him, struck him with a baton, and kicked him in the face during his detention.

Their attorneys claim that preliminary findings from an autopsy by a forensic pathologist for Nichols’ relatives show that he was severely beat before his death.

After an administrative investigation revealed that they had broken department policy regarding the use of force, five officers were fired — Tadarrius Bean and Demetrius Haley; Emmitt Martin III; Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith. All five officers were charged with second degree murder, two charges of official misconduct, two cases of aggravated kidnapping and one count each of official oppression.

Two additional officers — Preston Hemphill, and an unnamed seventh officer — were “relieved from duty” because of their involvement.

After an internal investigation, Sandridge and Lt. Michelle Whitaker were fired. They had violated numerous department policies and protocols regarding their patient response to Nichols.

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