Illinois EMTs charged with first-degree murder of Earl L. Moore Jr. – USA TODAY

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Two Illinois emergency medical workers from LifeStar Ambulance Service, Inc. were charged Monday with first-degree murder in the Dec. 18 death of a Springfield, Illinois man.
Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright filed the charges against Peggy Jill Finley, 44, and Peter J. Cadigan, 50. Acts by Finley and Cadigan resulted in the death of Earl L. Moore Jr., 35, Wright said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Footage captured by police body cams showed Finley and Cadigan strapping a face-down Moore onto a stretcher. 
Moore was pronounced dead at 3:14 a.m. after being transported to a local hospital.
He died of “compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back,” Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon said on Tuesday.
Finley and Cadigan knew, according to the criminal complaints read by Wright, “based upon their training, experience and the surrounding circumstances, that such acts would create a substantial probability of great bodily harm or death.”
An original dispatch call came in for a residence at 2:02 a.m., Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette said. That call indicated there were multiple subjects at the residence with guns.
Upon arrival, Scarlette said, three SPD officers talked to a female resident who said Moore was suffering from hallucinations because of a medical condition. The female was a relative of Moore.
The officers were invited into the residence and within minutes of encountering Moore, radioed for an ambulance, Scarlette said.
Officers met Finley at the door and relayed to her information about Moore’s condition, Scarlette said.
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Finley treated Moore “poorly and didn’t give him the care and compassion and respect he deserved,” Scarlette added. No medical treatment was rendered to Moore in the residence, he said.
Scarlette said EMTs told Moore that if he wanted to go to the hospital, he would have to walk to the stretcher, which was outside the home.
It was the officers, Scarlette said, who took turns getting Moore outside and placed him in “a recovery position, essentially lying him on his side on the stretcher.”
That, he said, transferred care to the EMTs.
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Scarlette said the three officers waited until Moore was loaded into the ambulance before clearing the scene.
“They literally threw (Moore’s) hands behind and strapped him down. He couldn’t move if he wanted to and he’s face down,” Teresa Haley, president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP and its state director, said. “They did not show any compassion whatsoever to this individual. He should be alive today.”
Scarlette also commended the officers for the way they handled their portion of the call.
“They recognized this individual was suffering from some type of unknown medical condition and their mindset was immediately focused on compassion and empathy and patience,” Scarlette said.
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A statement from Black Lives Matter SPI said it was “heartbroken to learn about the senseless killing” of Moore and supported the legal action taken against Finley and Cadigan to hold them accountable.
The statement added that “Unfortunately, this incident shines a light on how dangerous it can be for the Black community to seek treatment and receive medical care.”
Haley said watching the body cam footage reminded her of the murder of George Floyd.
“I believe (the EMTs) were treating (Moore) rougher because he was Black,” Haley said following the press conference. “It was hostile to see the video and how they treated him.”
Roger D. Campbell, the president of LifeStar, said the company had no comment because of the ongoing investigation.
Finley and Cadigan are being held in the Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bonds. Both face 20 to 60 years behind bars if convicted.
Illinois State Police is continuing its investigation into the case.
Follow Steven Spearie on Twitter: @StevenSpearie.

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