Officer Who Arrested Utah Nurse In Viral Video Is Now Under Criminal Investigation

Huffington Post – by Carla Herreria

The police officer seen in a viral video arresting a nurse in Salt Lake City is now under criminal investigation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ordered a criminal investigation Friday into the actions of Detective Jeff Payne who aggressively arrested nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26 for refusing to draw blood from a severely injured patient.

Payne has been placed on administrative leave, The Associated Press reported. The Salt Lake City Police Department also said Friday that two of its employees have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is underway. It is unclear if Payne is one of the employees mentioned in the agency’s statement.

As seen in the above video, taken by Payne’s body camera, Wubbels, the head nurse of the University of Utah Hospital’s burn unit, remains calm as she explains policy after Payne insists on collecting the blood sample of an unconscious patient.

Wubbels explains she is simply trying to her job, telling the detective “three things that allow us to [give blood samples] are if you have an electronic warrant, patient consent or patient under arrest, and neither of those things … the patient can’t consent. He told me repeatedly that he doesn’t have a warrant and the patient is not under arrest.”

The footage of the arrest shows Payne interrupting Wubbels as she continues to explain the policy to him before placing her in handcuffs, which causes a brief scuffle between the two.

The video, made public Friday, sparked a wave of criticism over Payne’s confrontation with a nurse who appears to be following hospital protocol.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown apologized for Payne’s actions and promised investigations from Internal Affairs and the Civilian Review Board.

“I was alarmed by what I saw in the video with our officer” and Wubbels, Brown said in a joint statement. “I am sad at the rift this has caused between law-enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with. I want to be clear, we take this very seriously.”

After Payne placed Wubbels in handcuffs, the nurse was released without being charged for anything. In fact, a 2016 Supreme Court ruling suggests that the nurse was right to not allow Payne to obtain a blood alcohol test without a warrant.

According Payne’s report obtained by the Tribune, the detective said he was advised by his watch commander, Lt. James Tracy, to arrest Wubbels for interfering with a police investigation. He also said he needed the blood sample to protect, not punish, the patient.

After seeing the video, National Nurses United, which is currently sponsoring a campaign to raise awareness of hospital workplace violence, publicly denounced Payne and the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“As the videos and news accounts make clear, there is no excuse for this assault, or her arrest, which sends a chilling message about the safety of nurses and the rights of patients,” said Jean Ross, the organization’s co-president.

Police spokeswoman Christina Judd told AP that the police department initiated an internal investigation within hours of the July 26 confrontation. Since the arrest, Payne has been suspended from the department’s blood draw unit.

After the video made rounds online late Friday morning, District Attorney Gill asked Brown to find an outside agency to look into the investigation, the Tribune reported. Later on Friday, the mayor’s office announced that the Unified Police Department would be conducting the criminal investigation.

Wubbles said at a news conference Thursday that she felt “betrayed,” “angry” and “confused,” and warned that she may consider taking legal action over the confrontation.

However, in a statement to the press released Friday, Wubbels said she had accepted the “sincere apologies” of Police Chief Brown and Mayor Biskupski, according to Utah’s ABC 4 News.

“I look forward to working with both of them to help promote further civil dialogue and education,” she said. “The common goal of all public service professionals should be to provide the best care to our fellow citizens.”

The University of Utah Hospital stands by Wubbels decision to protect the patient, saying she “followed procedures and protocols,” according to the New York Post.

Judd, the spokeswoman for the police, told AP on Friday that the police department recently updated its blood-draw policy to align it with the hospital’s policy, adding that officers have received additional training on the matter.

22 thoughts on “Officer Who Arrested Utah Nurse In Viral Video Is Now Under Criminal Investigation

  1. I’ll bet they try to coherse her into not pressing charges

    Thing is , that hospital the admin and owners of that hospital also are liable and should be pressing charges
    But none of this will happen

  2. “I am sad at the rift this has caused between law-enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with. I want to be clear, we take this very seriously.”………..oh boy howdy ….lots of ‘mea culpa’ going on there

  3. It’s really a shame that none of the people standing around got involved to stop that assault/battery. Really tells a lot about our sheep-like electorate.

  4. Jeff Pain…?


    I guess Weebles Wubble but they don’t fall down.

    Let me take a wild guess here.

    Jeff’s dad was in the military.

    With an outstanding military career.

    Was a major.

    Major Pain.

      1. Stop it your killin me.

        Oh.. thank god.

        Some body got the joke

        I was beginning to think I was working for free.

        4 nothing.

        Now behave yourself young lady.

  5. How dare that nurse uphold the law! How dare she not bow down to the almighty authority of that gestapo thug! Insanity runs rampant in this country. I’m honestly surprised how much we have allowed things to spiral downward.

  6. “Wubbels has not filed any civil action against the police agencies involved.
    ‘I think right now, I believe in the goodness of society. I want to see people do the right thing first and I want to see this be a civil discourse. And if that’s not something that’s going to happen and there is refusal to acknowledge the need for growth and the need for re-education, then we will likely be forced to take that type of step. But people need to know that this is out there,’ she said.
    Porter complimented Salt Lake City for listening to her client’s concerns and stepping up to the plate. But Porter could not say the same for the University of Utah police, whose officer condoned what was happening by not stepping in, she said.
    ‘We don’t have confidence that changes will be made at University of Utah police … unless we went forward in this way,’ Porter said Thursday.”

  7. The mayor and pig chief are full of shit. If they were alarmed they would toss those pigs asses in jail, fire them and do their best to make sure they never carried a weapon again. That could have turned deadly real quick. They committed an armed kidnapping which is far more serious than armed robbery. They should get 20 years.

  8. Oh…man…

    I love the ladies on this site.

    Theyr’e razor sharp.

    They’re like a barber giving a bald man a haircut.

  9. So then, are we not also saying after all is said and done, that this “nurse” would be within her rights to have resisted this criminal in a costume with every means at her disposal, including the use of deadly force?

    You know pulling a nearby syringe or handgun from a drawer and righteously terminating the kidnapper to stop this attempted kidnapping…!

    She was not able to and was thus kidnapped…minimally we must ask, why is this criminal not arrested at gunpoint and put in jail like any one of us would be?

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