It’s time for EMS-police dialogue, cooperation after L.A. EMT arrest

This unfortunate incident is an opportunity to educate law enforcement partners on things like patient restraint, scene safety and policy


A Los Angeles County EMT was arrested, handcuffed, thrown in a police car, hauled off to jail, and thrown in a cage because an LAPD sergeant “thought” she saw something untoward. Only after video evidence showed that the EMT was doing his job the way it was supposed to have been done, did the police backpedal and say it was “all just a misunderstanding” and let him go.  

A “misunderstanding,” really? Where is the accountability? Where is the integrity? EMS providers have it tough enough as it is, and this is why I do what I do. 

When I tell people that I am an EMS defense attorney, I often get a head-tilt of confusion. They wonder what kind of trouble EMS people get in. Then they usually opine that if an EMS provider gets in trouble, they probably deserve it. Rather than allow my blood to boil, I take a deep, cleansing breath and explain to them how the system is supposed to work. EMS people get it right away; non-EMS people have a hard time understanding.  

Here’s what I explain to those on the outside of EMS: 

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