Utah Police Officer Who Violently Arrested Nurse Fired from His Job

FILE - In this July 26, 2017, frame grab from video taken from a police body camera and provided by attorney Karra Porter, nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. Authorities say a Utah police officer who was …
Salt Lake City Police Department/Courtesy of Karra Porter via AP, File

A Utah police officer who forcibly arrested a nurse for refusing to let him draw blood from an unconscious patient has been fired.

A Salt Lake City Police spokesman told the Associated Press (AP) Tuesday that Chief Mike Brown decided to fire Detective Jeff Payne following an investigation into his conduct.

Body camera footage caught Payne on film dragging the nurse, Alex Wubbels, outside the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City and arresting her for refusing to allow police to draw blood from a patient without consent.

Wubbels told the officers that they could not draw blood from the patient unless they had the patient’s consent, a warrant, or a valid reason to arrest the patient.

Payne responded that he would “leave with blood in vials or body in tow” when he dragged Wubbels from the hospital and placed handcuffs on her. Wubbels was not charged with a crime and was released.

After the body cam footage of the incident went viral on social media, the hospital instituted a policy change banning law enforcement from interacting directly with nurses.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that the Constitution allows for breathalyzer tests without a warrant but not blood tests.

Payne had also been dismissed from his second job as a paramedic.

Both Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief have issued statements apologizing for the incident.


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