The Utah detective who was recorded violently arresting a nurse for refusing to allow him to draw blood from a patient without consent has been fired. In addition, the officer’s commander was demoted.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown fired Detective Jeff Payne on Tuesday for the July 26 arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
Brown also ordered Payne’s watch commander on the day of the confrontation, Lt. James Tracy, to be demoted to police officer III effective Wednesday.
The violent arrest was captured on video, which went viral and prompted an investigation by internal affairs. As a result of the probe, both officers were found to have violated department policies.
“In examining your conduct,” Brown wrote to Payne, “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.”
Brown also criticized Tracy and said his lack of judgment was “unacceptable” and “as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the Department.”
The arrest occurred when Wubbels denied Payne the ability to draw blood from an unconscious patient involved in a car crash. As Wubbels explained to the detective that she could not allow him to draw blood because he lacked a warrant and the patient could not consent, he grabbed her and forced cuffs around her wrists.
Payne acted on orders from Tracy, who arrived later.
(Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department)