Firefighter arrested as he tried to save car crash victims in resurfaced clip

Joanna Taylor
Friday 17 July 2020 13:15
news
(The Independent )

A shocking video of a California police officer handcuffing a firefighter as he attempted to rescue victims of a car crash has resurfaced.

Jacob Gregoire was cuffed, searched and held in a California Highway Patrol car for 30 minutes because he refused to move his fire engine positioned to shield rescue workers and victims from surrounding traffic.

The Chula Vista Fire department maintained that Gregoire had followed protocol to protect victims during the incident in 2014.

Fire chief Dave Hanneman commented at the time:

To detain one of our firefighters in the middle of an incident is ridiculous.

My engineers and all the crews did exactly what they're trained to do. 

Gregoire was told he was being arrested for refusing to relocate his vehicle.

A police officer at the scene said:

It’s unbelievable you have to do this. 

We asked you to clear the road and you said no, and you are getting arrested for not moving it. 

A Chula Vista Police spokesperson later added that Gregoire's vehicle was the only one out of three that wasn't moved at officers's request.

No charges were filed against Gregoire.

But he did later bring a civil case against arresting officer Sergio Florres and the California Highway Patrol.

The incident has resurfaced as people discuss the role and powers police have in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

After the heartbreaking death of George Floyd, some people began to call for the police to be defunded or abolished.

They argued that money spent on police departments could be better spent on social workers who could take on some of the work that police currently carry out.

This resurfaced incident is one of many that's being viewed through this lens.

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