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The Utah Police Officer Who Handcuffed & Dragged A Nurse For Doing Her Job Was Fired

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Utah police officer Detective Jeff Payne has been fired after forcibly arresting a nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient in July.

According to CNN, Alex Wubbels, a nurse at the University of Utah hospital, would not draw blood from the patient, as hospital policy required the patient’s consent in order to draw blood. Wubbels could not get the patient’s consent, as he was unconscious. Payne then proceeded to arrest Wubbels.

Police body cam footage recorded Wubbels backing away from Payne and screaming as he forcefully handcuffs her and drags her to a police car. "I've done nothing wrong! I've done nothing wrong! Why is this happening? This is crazy," Wubbels yelled as he dragged her. Minutes later, Wubbels was released without being charged.

ABC News states that “The Salt Lake City Police Department said it fired Det. Jeff Payne after an internal investigation found he violated department policy when he arrested University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26.” Payne’s supervisor, James Tracy, was demoted two ranks, from lieutenant to police officer, because of his role in the arrest.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said in his letter notifying Payne of his termination: “"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.”

Unfortunately, Payne’s termination will not bring in an end to the pattern of excessive force by the police. Hopefully, however, it will promote dialogue on what constitutes police brutality and encourage citizens to be aware of their rights when it comes to arrests. Flex Your Rights provides helpful information on how to interact with police. It’s important that we are all educated on our rights so that we can fight police misconduct as effectively as possible and contribute to the conversation on police brutality.


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