Policeman who arrested nurse fired

The policemen who went into a rage because a nurse in Utah properly refused to give him a blood sample from an accident victim, and forcibly handcuffed and arrested her (see my earlier post about it that has the video that went viral) has since been fired and his supervisor demoted. The officer had previously been reprimanded for sexually harassing a female co-worker.

A Utah police officer who was caught on video roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw was fired Tuesday in a case that became a flashpoint in the ongoing national conversation about police use of force.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown made the decision after an internal investigation found evidence Detective Jeff Payne violated department policies when he arrested nurse Alex Wubbels and dragged her out of the hospital as she screamed on July 26, said Sgt. Brandon Shearer, a spokesman for the department.

Payne’s supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, was also demoted to officer. His lawyer, Ed Brass, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Payne told Wubbels his supervisor said he should arrest her if she didn’t allow the blood draw. Tracy arrived on scene after the arrest and forcefully told a handcuffed Wubbels that she should have allowed the blood draw. She was later released without charge.

As we saw in the video, the nurse knew the law but both Payne and Tracy acted like she was wrong and that they had the correct interpretation.


  1. blf says

    From the link in the OP:

    Payne was also fired from a part-time job as a paramedic after he was caught on camera saying he’d take transient patients to the University of Utah hospital where Wubbels worked and take the “good patients” elsewhere as retribution.

    This copgoon appears to bear a grudge. To put it mildly.

    I have no idea if a paramedic — the embedded link in the above excerpt says he worked as an EMT (and not as, say, a driver) — would or should know the law here (can paramedics draw blood samples for the police?). Assuming he should have known because he was also a paramedic, that detail makes me even more surprised the ex-goon arrested the nurse.

  2. blf says

    DonDueed@2, Good point. My bad. I perhaps should have wrote something like “temporarily unofficial goon”.

  3. starskeptic says

    “Salt Lake City police also apologized and changed their policies in line with Wubbels’ position.”
    As I understood it when this incident occurred, the policy Wubbels tried to enforce was mutually arrived at and agreed to by the hospital and the SLCPD and so, was already in place!

  4. alkaloid says

    @Lofty #3

    You’re probably right but (perhaps briefly) this is at least one rare piece of good news.

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