• Misleading social media posts claim EMTs on the scene of George Floyd’s murder were actually police officers
  • The claims mistake Hennepin County EMT uniforms for law enforcement uniforms and believe the bulletproof vests are evidence first responders were actually police
  • It is becoming more common for EMTs to wear bulletproof vests and Hennepin County began discussing the use of protection as early as 2011
  • Misinformation also claims proper medical treatment was not administered without realizing Floyd was immediately placed in the ambulance due to the fact he was not breathing when EMTs arrived

Despite the video of George Floyd’s murder being horrifying enough on its own, people online are creating conspiracies and spreading misinformation to throw more fuel on an already raging fire. One bit of misinformation claims the EMTs that arrived on the scene were actually law enforcement.

The YouTube channel Antroy Beckford uploaded a video titled “THINK YOU SEE IT ALL? LOOK 👁 AGAIN…” The video makes multiple claims that are completely untrue and can be easily debunked with a few simple Google searches.

One of the first mistaken claims is the uniforms. The video claims medics are wearing police uniforms because they are not the traditional white. A simple Google search for Hennepin County EMT uniforms shows the uniforms they wear matches those seen in the video. An article from 2012 showing six new EMTs shows they have worn those uniforms for years. In all fairness, the picture below shows how easy it could be to confuse Hennepin County EMT uniforms with law enforcement uniforms.

The video also falsely points out the medics are wearing bulletproof vests and claims this is proof they are law enforcement. Again, this is something that is easily debunked. A 2011 interview with John Hick, MD, Hennepin County Medical Center’s medical director for bioterrorism, showed bulletproof vests were being considered for years. Hick said he would like to use bulletproof vests and helmets after seeing EMTs using them in Israel.

Bulletproof vests being worn by EMTs are not an unusual occurrence and have actually been adopted by cities all over the country. In Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Jason Campbell, CC/NRP, Chief and CEO of South Central Emergency Medical Services, said bulletproof vests for EMTs were absolutely necessary due to safety concerns.

One incident that led to that decision was an attack on Dauphin County LifeTeam member Dani Kamenar. Kamenar was 32 weeks pregnant when she was stabbed in the abdomen by a patient. Her protective vest absorbed most of the blow, but the placenta was torn and she had to deliver her baby four weeks early. In Cumberland County, Walmart provided a $1,000 grant to go towards bulletproof vests for Yellow Breeches EMTs.

On a related note, Hennepin County is one of several counties in Minnesota that requires probation officers to wear bulletproof vests. Hennepin County was one of the first counties in Minnesota to require probation officers to wear bulletproof vests. Other counties began adopting the same requirements in 2013.

People also try to argue that paramedics did not follow proper protocol. It should be noted that most of the people making that argument never went to medical school. When paramedics arrived on the scene Floyd was not breathing. President of Minneapolis Fire Local 82, Mark Lakosky, told EMS1 that “When someone is not breathing, every second counts.” Floyd was taken straight into the ambulance where two firefighters helped get an IV and medications prepared while a medic performed chest compressions.

As Hennepin Healthcare workers rushed Floyd to HCMC, they radioed ahead to notify they were en route. “I’ve got a red medical, we’ll be there in approximately six minutes,” a medic relayed, according to emergency dispatch audio. “Thirties, male, was being detained by PD … was on a … was a cardiac arrest upon EMS arrival, apparently doing CPR, getting access, getting vitals, bagging, calling ACLS [advanced cardiovascular life support], we’ll be there in six minutes, red medical, COVID symptoms are unknown.”

Even after receiving an electric shock to the chest, Floyd’s condition never changed. Floyd was passed off to emergency room staff who were not able to improve Floyd’s condition. His official time of death was 9:25 pm.

As outrage over Floyd’s death and police abuse continues to grow around the country, the absolute last thing needed is false information to spread. Two officers restrained Floyd as Derek Chauvin held his knee in the back of his neck for over eight minutes. Officer Tou Thao held witnesses back from stopping Chauvin. The details of Floyd’s murder do not require false information to be one of the worst police killings ever caught on camera.

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