The police officer from Salt Lake City, Utah, who was filmed dragging away a screaming nurse for refusing to take blood from a patient has now been fired by his department.
Footage of Detective Jeff Payne went viral overnight when he was caught on camera in July of this year dragging University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbles out of the hospital and into the back of a police car after she had refused to take the blood of an unconscious patient.
The hospital’s code of conduct states blood can not be taken without the patient’s consent, however Payne kept persisting and ended up using aggressive force when Wubbles wouldn’t comply.
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After an internal investigation into Payne’s excessive actions he was fired from the Salt Lake City Police Department.
In a disciplinary letter from the department’s Police Chief, Mike Brown, he wrote that he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the officer’s conduct and described his actions as ‘inappropriate, unreasonable, unwarranted, discourteous’ and ‘disrespectful’.
Brown also added Payne’s action’s brought ‘significant disrepute’ to the department.
According to the Daily Mail, Brown also wrote:
You demonstrated extremely poor professional judgment (especially for an officer with 27 years of experience), which calls into question your ability to effectively serve the public and the department.
As well as losing his job as a police officer, Payne has also been dismissed from his part-time job as a paramedic. Furthermore Payne’s supervising officer, Lieutenant James Tracy, has been demoted to the rank of Officer.
Wubbels’ lawyer, Karra Porter, hailed the victory and welcomed Payne’s dismissal from the police force. She was happy with Brown’s decision and recognising that the officers had made pivotal mistakes in handling the situation.
Porter hopes the outcome will encourage more public discussions regarding inappropriate behaviour and conduct by the police.
This also highlights the importance of on-duty officers wearing body cameras, which played an integral part in this case.
Without the body camera footage, it would have been a she-said, they-said. Alex feels very strongly that her story would have never been told if it weren’t for the body camera footage.
According to the Independent, in 2013 Payne had already received a disciplinary after Internal Affairs investigators confirmed he sexually harassed a female co-worker in a ‘persistent and severe’ way.
Since the outcome of Wubbles’ case against Payne, his attorney Greg Skordas told CBS News that he wants to ‘apologise’ for his controversial arrest of the nurse – who also happens to be a skier who competed in the Winter Olympics in 1998 and 2002.
Skordas told CBS:
Jeff would love the chance to sit down and apologise for what happened here. If he could do this over he would do it over differently.
When questioned about a potential lawsuit, Porter said she was expecting to meet with city officials soon to discuss the next steps which could include settlement talks.