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Utah detective who dragged screaming nurse fired

Utah detective who dragged screaming nurse fired

A Utah detective who was filmed handcuffing and dragging a nurse in July has been fired.

Jeff Payne, a detective with the Salt Lake City Police Department, was fired Tuesday following an investigation, Chief Mike Brown said Tuesday.

In a video filmed July 26, Payne, who was working as a part-time paramedic, asked University Hospital Nurse Alex Wubbels to draw blood from an unconscious patient, which she refused to do, citing company policy.
The detective had support from his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, who said Wubbels could be arrested if she didn’t allow the blood draw.

Payne eventually told Wubbels she was under arrest and physically removed her from the hospital while she screamed, claiming that she hadn’t done anything wrong.

An investigation by a civilian review board found Payne had apparently become frustrated after a long wait to perform the blood draw and ignored the nurse’s correct explanation that she could not allow it without a warrant or formal consent from the patient, who had been in a car crash.

Salt Lake City police later apologized for the arrest, changed their blood-draw policies and placed Payne and Tracy on paid administrative leave after the video from police body cameras drew widespread attention online.

An internal investigation with the police department found evidence that the officers violated several policies.
Payne was fired from his paramedic job with Gold Cross Ambulance — a company which he worked for since 1983 — on Sept. 5.

Greg Skordas, Payne’s lawyer, said last month that his client would “love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here. If he could do this over, he would do it differently.”

Skordas also questioned whether Payne’s behavior warranted being fired.