On Friday, the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board unanimously voted to suspend the licenses of two emergency medical technicians who failed to provide medical attention to Tyre Nichols for nearly 20 minutes. This incident happened after five officers were involved in a fatal beating of the 29-year-old Black man.
The board found that JaMichael Sandridge and Robert Long did not attempt to treat Nichols for 19 minutes while they were on the scene. Matthew Gibbs, a member of the general counsel’s office for the state public health department, said that Nichols was “clearly in distress” and was unable to remain in a seated position. He added that neither Sandridge nor Long engaged in a primary or secondary examination, took vital signs, or administered oxygen or intravenous fluids.
The Memphis Police Department has fired five officers who were directly involved in the beating of Nichols, as well as one officer who was present at the scene. All five officers are Black, while the other officer is white. Each of the five officers is facing multiple charges, including second-degree murder.
The suspensions of Sandridge’s and Long’s licenses are temporary, and the board will consider a “full scope of disciplinary parameters” based on the evidence at a later date. The police department’s investigation is ongoing, and additional members may face disciplinary action.
This tragic incident serves as a reminder that justice needs to be served for those who are victims of police brutality. We should all be aware and take action to ensure that similar incidents do not happen in the future.