Yesterday, Sangamon County States Attorney Dan Wright announced First Degree Murder charges against two paramedics from an incident where the Springfield Police Department was the initial responding agency.
On December 18, 2022, at approximately 2:02 a.m., three Springfield Police Officers responded to a residence in the 1100 block of North 11th Street for a subject who reported several people inside with firearms. When the officers arrived, they met with a resident who indicated the caller was suffering from hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal. The officers located the subject in a rear bedroom and quickly realized that the patient was in need of medical assistance. They requested an ambulance through dispatch and while the officers waited for the medical personnel, they attempted to gain information from the patient.
At approximately 2:18 a.m., the ambulance personnel arrived and were escorted into the residence. A female paramedic made contact with the patient and instructed him to walk to the ambulance. It is clear based on the officers body-worn camera footage that the patient was not able to walk and the medical personnel were not offering any assistance. The three officers took turns helping the patient through the residence and onto the stretcher outside. The body-worn camera footage shows the medical personnel place the patient on the stretcher in a prone position and secured him to the stretcher prior to transport.
The Springfield Police Department was later notified the patient had passed after arriving at the hospital. Chief Ken Scarlette requested an independent investigation be conducted by the Illinois State Police (ISP). The Springfield Police Department has cooperated fully with the ISP investigation, providing reports, body-worn camera footage and other requested information.
The Springfield Police Officers who responded to this incident recognized the patients need and requested medical assistance for the patient. When those personnel acted indifferently to the patients condition, the officers took steps to assist the patient, to get him the care he needed, even waiting on scene to ensure the medical personnel loaded the patient into the ambulance. The officers, who are not emergency medical professionals, are not trained nor equipped to provide the necessary medical treatment or to transport patients in this type of situation. The officers turned over care of the patient to the licensed, medical professionals at the scene in accordance with Springfield Police Department policy.