MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A retired firefighter who reviewed footage of Tyre Nichols’ beating says Nichols could have lived if the EMTs involved in the fatal traffic stop followed standard medical care practices.
On January 7, two EMTs arrived as Tyre Nichols was leaning up against a police car. He had been beaten, bloodied, and handcuffed by five now former MPD police officers.
In the videos that were released on Friday, you could hear Nichols groan and see him fall over several times.
We spoke with a retired Memphis firefighter who didn’t want to be identified. He said at a bare minimum, the EMTs should have checked Nichols’ blood pressure, gave him oxygen, started an IV, and gave him a band-aid to stop some of the bleeding.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health Bureau of Health Licensure and Regulation Division of Emergency Medical Services, when they arrive “The EMT shall perform the initial patient survey, shall provide emergency care through careful assessment of the patient, and shall recognize injuries and illness.”
At one point, you see someone standing over Nichols not helping as he rolls around in pain.
EMTs did lean Nichols over and checked his pockets and remove his wallet. In the video, you can hear the officers discussing what was found. As Nichols lay in pain officers were also looking for their glasses lost during the beating.
“He’s been kicked. He’s been punched. He’s been hit with police sticks and he is there in handcuffs moaning on the ground and everyone is walking around like it is business as usual,” said Ben Crump, one of the attorneys for Nichols’ family.
Toward the end of the SkyCop video, you can see everyone even the EMTs walk away from Nichols and leave him as he rolls around in pain. NAACP Memphis Branch President Van Turner said the outcome could have been different if anyone had stopped to help Nichols.
“Had first aid been rendered, maybe Tyre would have been beat up, bones broken but he would still be alive. So, those that just watched him die, they should be held as accountable as those who brutalized him,” Turner said.
The two EMTs who responded to the scene have been relieved of duty pending an investigation.