The Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board voted unanimously to suspend the licenses of two emergency medical technicians who arrived to treat Tyre Nichols after he was brutally beaten by police officers.
Instead of attending to Nichols’ injuries immediately, JaMichael Sandridge and Robert Long, waited 19 minutes before they began to provide medical care.
“Their patient was in obvious distress,” board member Dr. Sullivan Smith said. “It’s obvious to even a layperson that he was in terrible distress and needed help, and they failed to provide that help. They were his best shot. And they failed to help.”
Long and Sandridge were previously fired by the Memphis Fire Department for failing to provide aid to Nichols as he writhed in pain on the ground. Fire engine driver Lt. Michelle Whitaker was also fired.
“Our investigation has concluded that the two EMTs 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 previously said in a statement. “After their initial interaction with Mr. Nichols, they requested an ambulance to respond.”