Additional Firings of Police Officers and EMS Workers in Tyre Nichols Death

As a consequence of the further investigation of the death of Tyre Nichols, additional firings have occurred and include police officers and EMS workers. As reported, Memphis police say two more officers involved in the arrest, beating and death of Tyre Nichols have been disciplined in addition to the dismissal of three emergency responder medical technicians.

The “circle of punishment” has “widened,” as reported by Fox 5 Atlanta in what it has described as a “shocking display of police brutality.” Video released has shown “many more people failed to help him beyond the five officers accused of beating him to death.

The news coverage elaborates: “Officer Preston Hemphill, who is white, was relieved of duty shortly after Nichols’ Jan. 7 arrest, the police department announced. Later in the day it said another officer had also been relieved, but without naming the person or specifying what role they played in the incident.”

The Fox report summarizes that the total number of Memphis officers who have been disciplined to seven, which includes the five Black officers who were fired and charged last week with second-degree murder and other offenses in Nichols’ beating and Jan. 10 death.

The Fox report elaborated, stating that on Monday, Memphis Fire Department officials announced the dismissal of emergency medical technicians Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge and Lt. Michelle Whitaker.

“Fire Chief Gina Sweat said in a statement that the department received a call from police to respond to a report of a person who had been pepper-sprayed. The workers arrived at 8:41 p.m. as Nichols was handcuffed on the ground and slumped against a squad car, the statement said.”

The Memphis police claim that Long and Sandridge, based on the nature of the call and information they were told by police, “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols.” Whitaker and the driver remained in the engine. See related story: Tyre Nichols death revives calls for change in police culture

Additional information disclosed that an ambulance was called, and arrived at 8:55 p.m. “An emergency unit cared for Nichols and left for a hospital with him at 9:08 p.m. — 27 minutes after Long, Sandridge and Whitaker arrived, officials said.”

As reported, an investigation determined that all three violated “multiple” policies and protocols, adding that “their actions or inactions on the scene that night do not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department.”

Race has, yet again, been infused into the analysis. “The killing of Nichols, who was Black, has led to days of public discussion of how police forces can treat Black citizens with excessive violence, regardless of the race of both the police officers and those being policed.

On body camera footage from the initial stop, Hemphill is heard saying that he stunned Nichols and declaring, “I hope they stomp his ass.”

A concluding statement of the Fox news analysis alleged that “Nichols’ death was the latest example in a long string of early police accounts regarding use of force that were later shown to have minimized or ignored violent and sometimes deadly encounters.”

D & B Staff

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