Two Memphis emergency medical responders’ licenses were suspended Friday for failing to provide critical care to Tyre Nichols after he suffered a deadly police beating last month, a Tennessee board said Friday.
Former Memphis Fire Department medics Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge — two of the three EMTs fired in the wake of the savage attack — could see that Nichols clearly needed to be treated, a Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board member said Friday.
It was “obvious to even a lay person” that Nichols “was in terrible distress and needed help,” said board member Sullivan Smith.
“They failed to provide that help,” Smith added. “They were his best shot, and they failed to help.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old black Fed Ex worker, suffered a fatal three-minute beating by five black Memphis police officers on Jan. 7 and died three days later — sparking nationwide protests.
Disturbing video footage released from the scene shows Nichols sitting by a police car — slumped over and groaning in pain — as Long and Sandridge watch and make no effort to treat him.
On Friday, board members watched a 19-minute surveillance video of the troubling incident.
“The Department alleges that neither Mr. Sandridge nor Mr. Long engaged in emergency care and treatment to patient T.N., who was clearly in distress during the 19-minute period,” Matt Gibbs, an attorney for the state Department of Health, said at the meeting.
There may have also been other licensed EMTs at the scene, including a supervisor, who could have helped Nichols but didn’t, said board member Jeff Beaman.
Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat has said the department got a call from police after a man was pepper-sprayed.
When the EMTs arrived at 8:41 p.m., Nichols was handcuffed on the ground and slumped against a squad car, she said in a statement.
Based on the nature of the call, Long and Sandridge “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols,” the statement said.
All five police officers involved in the beating were later charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.
Long didn’t immediately return a call Friday.
A person who answered a number listed for Sandridge declined to comment on the board’s decision.
With Post wires