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How did Memphis medical workers respond to Tyre Nichols after police beating?


Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was pulled over while driving and died three days later, sits against a police car after being beaten by Memphis Police Department officers on January 7, 2023, in this still image from video released by Memphis Police Department on January 27, 2023. Memphis Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

The Memphis Fire Department has fired two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and an emergency vehicle driver who responded to the scene of the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols by five city police officers following a traffic stop on Jan. 7.

Here is a timeline of the medical response based on videos of the beating released by Memphis police and an account by the Memphis Fire Department:

8:24 p.m.

Memphis police officers begin using force on Nichols, yanking him out of his car and onto the ground and, soon after, spraying a chemical irritant into his face. A few minutes later, Nichols breaks free and runs away.

8:31 p.m.

Memphis fire dispatchers receive a call from police saying someone had been pepper-sprayed at the location where Nichols was pulled over in his vehicle by police, and two EMTs are sent out in a fire department vehicle, the fire department statement said.

Meanwhile, officers have caught Nichols again at a second location. Over the next few minutes, officers brutally beat Nichols; several officers punch him and kick him in the head and he is hit with a baton.

8:36 p.m.

The EMTs arrive at the first location where the traffic stop took place in a fire department vehicle, and are directed by police at the scene to the second location, the department said.

8:38 p.m.

His beating at the second scene over, Nichols is dragged across the asphalt to sit propped up against a patrol car, hands apparently cuffed behind him. Officers mill about for the next three minutes.

“He on something,” one of the officers says. “He cut in, he cutting through traffic, though oncoming traffic, everything.”

8:41 p.m.

Nichols slumps to his right and falls to the asphalt. An officer grabs Nichols by the arm and pulls him back into a sitting position.

The two fire department EMTs arrive with bags, which they place on the ground; their driver remains in the vehicle, the department said.

8:41 p.m. to 8:55 p.m.

Personnel on scene periodically tend to Nichols, although several minutes pass where no one is touching him and he is left unattended.

The EMTs appear to render some aid, although the view is obscured by officers gathering around or not visible as one officer covers his camera or turns it away. They also call for an ambulance to come.

Some remark that Nichols must have been high.

8:47 p.m.

One of the medical technicians asks Nichols: “What’d you have? We’re trying to get you straight. What’d you have?” Nichols’ response is unintelligible.

8:55 p.m.

The requested ambulance arrives, according to the fire department account, about 17 minutes after officers stopped their beating of Nichols. Medical workers can be seen tending to Nichols as he is propped up against the police car.

9:00 p.m.

A stretcher can be seen being wheeled into the area.

9:08 p.m.

Nichols arrives at St. Francis Hospital in critical condition.