Family of Man Firefighters Refused to Help Wants Justice

Medric Mills collapsed across the street from the fire department, yet none of the firefighters came to his aid as one firefighter claimed he couldn’t leave the station because they had not been dispatched to that location. 

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Medric Mills and granddaughter

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Medric Mills, 77, and his daughter had just finished dropping off a broken computer at a repair shop on Jan. 25 when he collapsed onto the sidewalk. His daughter ran back into the store to have them call 911. Since they repair shop was across the street from a fire department, people ran there for help, only to be told that firefighters would not be responding. Engine 26 was in view of the slumped Mills but since the department hadn't received a call from dispatch, they weren't leaving. Even though Mills was in walking distance from the fire department, no one came to Mills' aid.

Mills died of a heart attack, and his family has called for the firing of the firefighters, dispatchers and supervisors associated with the botched response.

"We want someone to take the blame for this tragedy," his son, Medric Mills III, said in a statement at a news conference on Thursday, the New York Daily News reports. "It is undisputable that the firefighters should have tried to help my dad."

While the Mills family has enlisted high-powered attorney Karen Evans to represent them, they have not decided whether or not to take legal action, which won't be decided until after Mills' funeral, the Daily News reports.

"It is absolutely inappropriate to talk about a lawsuit at this time," Evans said. "This family is in the process of burying their loved one."

"We want someone to take the blame for this tragedy," his son, Medric Mills III, said in a statement at a news conference on Thursday. "It is undisputable that the firefighters should have tried to help my dad."

A member of Engine 26 has claimed that Lt. Kellene Davis ordered him not to help Mills. Days after the controversy broke, Davis filled for retirement. Washington, D.C., Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe, who knew the victim personally, said Davis will be disciplined and that she has been removed from her post and placed on desk duty while the department probes her actions, the Daily News reports. 

"There is nothing in our protocol that would prevent an employee from rendering aid to a person who needs (it)," Ellerbe told NBC Washington. "Everyone who puts on the uniform takes an oath and is required to respond when called."

The Daily News notes that Mills was a Department of Parks and Recreation employee and that he and Ellerbe both belonged to the Shriners, a prominent fraternal organization.

"There's a lot of accountability that is still out there regarding this incident and we are going to take a very hard look at it and a very fair look at what happened, then deal with it," Ellerbe told NBC. "Nobody is going to run away from this and people will be held accountable."

Read more at the New York Daily News.