Interim D.C. fire chief 'begrudgingly accepts' discipline meted out in Cecil Mills death

Cecil Mills. (File photo)

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - The interim fire chief in the nation's capital says he's frustrated that he can't issue stronger disciplinary sanctions against three firefighters who didn't help a dying man across the street from a fire station.

Interim D.C. Fire Chief Eugene Jones said Thursday that he "has begrudgingly accepted" the discipline recommended by trial boards for three firefighters. One was suspended, one was reprimanded and one was found not guilty. The chief can only accept or reduce disciplinary actions.

"Some of them should have been facing termination and, in the end, they're not," Jones said.

Medric Cecil Mills Jr. went into cardiac arrest across from a fire station on Jan. 25. According to an internal report, five firefighters inside the station were aware that someone needed help, but none provided any aid.

"I even ran to the curb and said, 'Are you going to help me, or are you going to let my dad die?'" said Mills' daughter, Marie.

A police officer flagged down an ambulance, and Mills later died at a hospital.