The Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism (SCoDR) envisions an antiracist society and works diligently to dismantle institutional and systemic racism in Springfield and its surrounding communities. SCoDR is intently focused on training, networking, caucusing, consulting and developing affinity groups to build antiracist and multicultural diversity within organizations. We are deeply pained and horrified to witness the murder of Earl Lynne Moore Jr., 35-year-old Springfield resident and beloved son, brother and community member.
The callous disregard and blatant disrespect for Earl Moore's dignity, life and humanity was on full display by Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan, emergency medical service workers, employed by LifeStar, whose mission statement is "to promote, restore, and maintain the health of the people by appropriately providing a superior level of care during critical care transport."
Finley and Cadigan failed the mission in every way imaginable. Both debased, fractured and destroyed Earl Moore when they disregarded their training and showed contempt for his life. Like the murder of George Floyd, Moore died of suffocation. Instead of a knee, EMS workers' weapons of choice was the prone position on an ambulance stretcher and excessive force with straps that were pulled tightly to the point of asphyxiation.
Within seconds of their arrival at Moore's residence, they grossly and relentlessly mistreated him. Police bodycam footage shows Finley repeatedly telling Moore to "get up and I don't have time for this s_ _ _." Cadigan resorts to physical abuse and body-slams Moore onto the stretcher. The inequities aimed at him is more evidence of the hatred and discrimination minoritized populations endure in the health care industry and society at large. We observe too many incidents in racialized ethnic communities when cries for help quickly become crime scenes when racist people are put in positions of power and service.
We affirm and support the swift and just response of the Sangamon County State's Attorney Office to charge Finley and Cadigan with first-degree murder. The emergency service workers who deliberately violated their duty to restore health are added to a list of violent aggressors who span more than 400 years of brutality directed at marginalized people across America.
We are resolved to support the family members of Earl Moore during this unbearable season of grief and loss. We ask health care workers and law enforcement agencies to join forces to fulfill the oaths of protection, care and service they made before their governing boards and the communities they serve. We implore policymakers to not view this situation as "a few bad apples," but to examine the apple barrel that permits demeaning and inequitable treatment to persist in vulnerable communities. As an antiracist organization, we are committed to collaborating to educate, train and strategize with community partners to decrease harm and decimate racism and oppression.