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Utah Cop Who Handcuffed Screaming Nurse Fired From Police Department

By  Emily Zanotti

A Salt Lake City detective who tried to force a nurse to draw blood from an unconscious patient — and then dragged and handcuffed her when she refused — has been released from his department.

According to Fox News, Salt Lake City Police Department Chief Mike Brown announced Tuesday that, following an internal investigation, Officer Jeff Payne has been terminated and would no longer serve with the Salt Lake City police.

Payne captured national attention when a body cam video, taken from another officer on the scene, appeared to show the detective screaming at and then chasing University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, who refused the detective’s order to draw blood from an unconscious car crash victim who couldn’t consent.

Wubbels cited a hospital policy which prohibited her from performing a medical procedure on an unconscious patient absent an exigent circumstance. Payne did not have a warrant for the blood, regardless, but he and his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, told Wubbels she could be arrested if she refused their orders. Wubbels continued to refuse, so Payne and Tracy dragged her, screaming, out of the hospital, pushed her up against a wall, and handcuffed her.

Both a hospital board and an independent review board said that Wubbels was in the right. Payne also should have known better: according to earlier reports, Payne served as an emergency medical technician in his off hours from the police department.

Salt Lake City police have apologized to Wubbels and her hospital for the incident, and say they’ve changed both their blood draw policies and how they train officers. After putting Payne on a short administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, the department fired him, saying he’d violated several department policies. Tracy was demoted.

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  • Utah

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