A paramedic stepped in to potentially help save the life of a young boy who reportedly couldn’t get to the hospital due to a Black Lives Matter protest blocking the highway (video below).
Bobby Harrell was praised for carrying a sick child stuck in traffic over a concrete barrier on I-40 in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 10 so he and his family could make it to the hospital.
"They told us that the child was running a high fever and they were unable to get through," Harrell told WREG. Traffic was completely blocked for hours during the protest.
“Tried to just block out everything that was going on around me," he said. He and other paramedics even went the wrong way through traffic just to get to the child.
“And then we picked him up and turned around and went back to West Memphis,” Harrell recounted.
There were no reports of patients having any delays getting to the hospital as a result of the protest.
The protest lasted until around 11 p.m., with some supporters remaining until later. Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement to WMC Action News 5 acknowledging the protest:
As a majority black city, I recognize that Memphis is part of a larger national conversation about race in America, and how some of our citizens feel disenfranchised. To that end, I am hopeful that our city will remain part of the conversation in a way that is respectful and recognizes our humanity.
As Memphis mayor, I respect the Constitution and the right to assemble peacefully in protest. Tonight, the protests have been peaceful thanks to the great work of the Memphis Police Department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and all of our partners.
There will be an initial conversation tonight and we will have follow-up conversations in the coming days. We are here to fully support those conversations -- and my door has always been open. But we want to do it in a legal way, as well. Let me be clear: you can exercise your First Amendment rights without breaking the law.