Calling 911 should have saved Earl Moore’s life, but the paramedics who arrived killed him less than an hour later. LifeStar EMTs Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan came to his Springfield, Illinois home in the early hours of Dec. 18.
The Washington Post reports they both face murder charges for allegedly suffocating Moore to death.
Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon declared Moore’s death a homicide. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was “compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back.”
Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright announced first-degree murder charges for both paramedics at a press conference on Tuesday.
Wright asserted that Finley and Cadigan “did acts without lawful justification” and knew “based upon their training, experience and the surrounding circumstances, that such acts would create a substantial probability of great bodily harm or death.”
Earl Moore’s last moments were filled with hostility and cruelty
Springfield PD responded to a call about a man in distress at 2:05 a.m. A woman on the scene told officers that Moore was an alcoholic on his fourth day of withdrawal, which can be deadly for severe addicts. The cops requested paramedics for Moore, who was calm but suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations.
Bodycam footage shows that the 35-year-old was too incoherent to answer questions, walk, or even stay on his bed. Officers explained the situation to Finley a few minutes later, who went full Karen as soon as she stepped in the room.
Finley screamed for Moore to sit up when he couldn’t answer her questions. Instead of rushing him to the hospital, she dragged him across the floor like an animal. She continued shouting orders while refusing to help or even touch him.
“You’re gonna have to walk ‘cause we ain’t carrying you! I am seriously not in the mood for this dumb sh*t,” Finley yelled at the barely conscious Black man. “I’m not playing with you tonight.”
Finley stormed out after her tantrum, leaving Moore still incapacitated on the floor. You know it’s bad when the police think you’re a savage towards an innocent Black man. Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette said she treated Moore “poorly and didn’t give him the care and compassion and respect he deserved.”
“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 Springfield PD said in a statement.
Moore was limp as Cadigan slammed his body facedown on the gurney and covered him with a blanket. Both EMTs strapped Moore down and loaded him into the ambulance at 2:26 a.m. St. John’s Hospital staff pronounced Moore dead at 3:14 a.m.
Moore’s family and community demand justice
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced that the family hired him and Bob Hilliard of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales.
“Earl saw neither care nor compassion in his last moments when he was suffocating, strapped face down to a stretcher by LifeStar employees,” Crump said in a statement.
Finley and Cadigan are in custody at Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bonds. They each face 20 to 60 years in prison.
“This was a Black young man who lost his life due to negligence, and we want to make sure that justice is being served. He was treated unfairly,” said NAACP Springfield chapter and statewide president Teresa Haley at the press conference.