‘They were his best shot. And they failed to help’: Why did EMS workers neglect Tyre Nichols?
Editor Notes

By the time medics arrived, Tyre Nichols was sitting on the ground, handcuffed and propped against a police car.

The 29-year-old’s face was bloody and he was groaning in pain. On Jan. 7, after pulling Nichols over for a traffic stop, Memphis police officers had tased him, pepper-sprayed him, punched him, kicked him in the head, and beaten him with a baton. He weighed about 150 pounds, according to his mother, and suffered from Crohn’s disease.

Other than helping Nichols back up when he slumped over, the emergency medical technicians who’d arrived on the scene barely engaged with him, according to police body camera footage of the incident. As they stood nearby, Nichols collapsed onto the asphalt and writhed alone for minutes at a time.

National and state emergency medical services guidelines call for medics — at a bare minimum — to immediately check their patient’s airway, breathing, and vital...

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