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Detective Who Manhandled Utah Nurse in Viral Video Finally Fired
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Summary: The detective who arrested a nurse for following hospital policy has been fired. 

In July, a shocking video of an angry police detective unfairly arresting a nurse in Salt Lake City went viral; and this week, the Salt Lake City Police Department announced that the cop had been fired.

  
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Nurse Alex Wubbels denied Detective Jeff Payne’s request to withdraw blood from an unconscious person who was not under arrest. In the video, Wubbels told Payne that it was against hospital policy to take blood without consent or a warrant, and the bullying detective aggressively arrested her for noncompliance.

The video drew widespread condemnation and added more to the national discussion of what to do when police abused their power.

After the incident, the hospital said that it supported Wubbels decision and they created a new policy to not allow police in the waiting area.

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According to NPR, Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown fired Detective Payne and disciplined his partner, Lieutenant James Tracey, by demoting him to officer. The department conducted an investigation into their actions, and internal affairs released a report on September 13th which found the men violated department policy. In a decision letter, Police Chief Brown said that the two men failed to treat all citizens with “courtesy” and “dignity.”

“I have lost faith and confidence in your ability to continue to serve as a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department,” Chief Mike Brown wrote in Payne’s termination letter obtained by the Deseret News. “I am deeply troubled by your lack of sound, professional judgment and your discourteous, disrespectful and unwarranted behavior, which unnecessarily escalated a situation that could and should have been resolved in a manner far different from the course of action you chose to pursue.”



Payne and his partner have five days to appeal Brown’s decision. Payne’s attorney told The Salt Lake Tribune that Brown reacted to public pressure in his decision to fire Payne.

“I do think that Salt Lake City did a fair job of doing the investigation, and I think that their findings are, by and large, accurate,” Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, said. “But I think the chief reacted to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny in making a decision that doesn’t fit the conduct.”

The incident stemmed after Payne arrived at the hospital with an unconscious man who had been in a car accident. Payne wanted Wubbels to take the man’s blood to see if he had been under the influence, but Wubbels explained that she could not do any work on the patient without his consent. Enraged, Payne grabbed the nurse and dragged her out of the lobby area. In the video, he can be seen slamming her into a wall and roughing her up while putting on the handcuffs.

Nurse Wubbels was released from jail with no charges pressed. Days after the unjustified arrest, she appeared on the Today Show, where she spoke about why Payne’s inappropriate actions.

“This can’t be happening,” Wubbels said. “It should never have happened. And, if I have anything to say about it, it won’t ever happen again.”

What do you think of Payne’s firing? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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