If you read the deposition the Paramedic and the EMT made. There was never a "flip-off" made. The EMT stated that he threw his hands in the air after the trooper made a comment on the ems dispatch channel about the EMTs driving. This was confirmed by the patients son who was riding in the passenger seat of the box.
We also do not run "hot" to the hospital with ALL patients. 80% of all transports nation wide are code 1 transports. This doesn't mean, however, that you are not caring a critical patient. I transport patients all the time having an active MI code 1. The reason is to keep the patient from becoming excited and putting more stress on the heart which requires more oxygen which in turn makes the heart work harder.
Pt abandonment has to occur when the Paramedic or EMT fails to provide care. The Paramedic did nothing wrong by stepping away from a patient he was MONITORING. That means that he had already provided patient care and was watching her progress. The video shows the Paramedic going in and out of the box while trying to diffuse the situation.
The Paramedic exited the box because of the speed the trooper came up on them with. The medic stated in his deposition that he believed that the trooper had a patient riding with him. There was an unidentified female sitting in the trooper car whenever this situation occurred.
The trooper is clearly in the wrong in this blatant show of true unprofessionalism. How are we not to assume that the trooper wasn't "showing off" for his rider.
Both members of the EMS crew told the trooper that they were transporting a patient, and more than once. That is clearly audible on the dash cam video. When the trooper told the paramedic that he was under arrest, the paramedic told the trooper to follow the ambulance to the hospital so that they could transfer care of the patient prior to making the arrest. The trooper was so angry that he obviously wasn't listening to anything that the EMS crew told him.
The trooper was focused on the driver, but the driver wasn't in charge of patient care, the paramedic was. It is a violation of Oklahoma state law for anyone to interfere with EMS in the performance of their duties. By stopping the ambulance, the trooper was in violation of that particular law. The paramedic was doing his job by a) informing the trooper that they had a patient on board and b) being an advocate for the patient, which is what he was supposed to be doing.
The EMS crew remained calm throughout the entire taped portion of the incident, based on both the trooper's dash camera video and the patient's son's cell phone video. They were completely focused on their patient and the patient's well-being for the entire time. That isn't "a lack of professionalism", it's the very definition of professionalism.
The EMS crew and the patient's family have both repeatedly stated that no one flipped off hte trooper as well.
So...what we have is a trooper who was traveling at an unsafe speed and who ran right up on the rear bumper of the ambulance, who doesn't understand the limited rear field of vision the ambulance operator has, who made an erroneous assumption that the ambulance swerving to the left was an attempt to block him when the ambulance was in fact avoiding another vehicle, who made an erroneous assumption that a gesture of surprise was an obscene gesture, who ran a stop sign while not running code to chase down the ambulance, and who was angry and out of control despite the evidence when he stopped the ambulance.
The Oklahoma District Attorney sent a letter to the trooper's commanding officer stating that the trooper's actions weren't proper and that there should be further review of those actions as well.
I fully realize that troopers have a dangerous, stressful job, just as we do. That doesn't excuse unsafe driving, hotheadedness, or putting a paramedic in a choke hold over a perceived slight.
The paramedic was advocating for his patient. That's what he's supposed to do. He clearly told the trooper that they could take the matter up at the hospital, and more than once. The trooper was just too angry to listen to common sense.
Check out the reader comments in the Tulsa newspaper...they overwhelmingly state that the trooper's actions were "road rage", and that anyone else that had engaged in that type of behavior would have themselves been arrested.
Here is the Oklahoma law regarding interfering with EMS providers...
Oklahoma Statutes Citationized
Title 21. Crimes and Punishments
Chapter 20 - Assault and Battery
Section 650.3 - Interference with Emergency Medical Technicians or Care Providers - Punishment
Every person who willfully delays, obstructs or in any way interferes with an emergency medical technician or other emergency medical care provider in the performance of or attempt to perform emergency medical care and treatment or in going to or returning from the scene of a medical emergency, upon conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
That makes the trooper's traffic stop of the ambulance illegal, as they had a patient on board.
The choke hold constitutes a second, and more egregious violation of this law.