Three emergency service workers fired over their response to Tyre Nichols at scene
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Three emergency services workers have been fired over their response at the scene where Tyre Nichols was beaten by police.
Nichols' deadly night-time arrest in Memphis, Tennessee, on 7 January led to five police officers being fired and charged with second-degree murder and other offences last week.
Officer Preston Hemphill was relieved of his duty shortly after Nichols' arrest, Memphis Police Department confirmed on Monday (31 January), while Memphis Fire Department announced the firing of emergency medical technicians Robert Long and JaMicheal Sandridge, as well as fire Lieutenant 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, and the workers arrived as Nichols was handcuffed and leaning against a squad car.
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', the statement said.
Whitaker and the driver remained in the fire engine.
An investigation determined that all three violated 'multiple' policies and protocols, the statement said.
The killing of 29-year-old Nichols has sparked renewed outcry over how police forces treat Black citizens with excessive violence, regardless of the race of the officers involved.
On body camera footage from the initial stop, Officer Hemphill is heard saying that he had tasered Nichols, adding: "I hope they stomp his ass."
Officers used a stun gun, a baton and their fists as they beat Nichols.
Footage shows him running away from officers towards his house after he was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving.
Nichols was heard calling for his mother and seen struggling with his injuries as he sat helpless on the pavement.
The five officers chatted and milled about for several minutes as he remained on the ground, but there were other authorities on the scene.
Two Shelby County sheriff's deputies have been relieved of duty without pay while their conduct is investigated.
The police department is responsible for internal disciplinary measures, such as firings, while Shelby County's district attorney handles criminal investigations.
Calls for more officers to be fired or charged have been loud and persistent from the Nichols family, their lawyers, and community activists who have peacefully protested in Memphis since the video was released.
The video was reminiscent of the arrest of George Floyd in 2020 and officers' failure to intervene.
On Saturday, Nichols' stepfather, Rodney Wells, told the Associated Press that the family was going to 'continue to seek justice and get some more officers arrested'.
The five disgraced officers - Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith - face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.