At the beginning of September, disturbing footage surfaced of Detective Jeff Payne wrongfully arresting nurse Alex Wubbles after she refused to violate a patient's rights.
The footage shows Wubbles refusing to approve a blood sample from an unconscious patient on the grounds that he cannot give consent. She tells the officer he must provide a warrant in order to get the sample. Detective Payne acknowledges there's no warrant, but still doesn't listen to Nurse Wubbles and the hospital official on speakerphone.
Detective Payne then starts to get agitated, saying "I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow."
The patient was not suspected of criminal activity. He was an off-duty reserve Idaho police officer driving a semi-trailer when he was hit by a man fleeing police in a pickup truck. He later died from his injuries.
In the video, multiple hospital officials are consulted as Wubbles holds her ground, but eventually Detective Payne gets fed-up and grabs the nurse, yelling "You're under arrest! We're done!"
In the unsettling video, you can hear Wubbles yelling “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!”
Wubbles is dragged to the police car, where she claims the officer is hurting her. He says "Then walk!" to which Wubbles replies "NO! I have no reason to walk."
Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement, “I was alarmed by what I saw in the video with our officer and Ms. [Alex] Wubbles. 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.
We’ve looked at the actions that took place, the policies that could have prevented it,and the training that must be done. Within 24 hours of this incident, Salt Lake City Police Department took steps to ensure this will never happen again... we apologized for the incident and promised to find a solution. Additionally, our policy management team continues to work closely with the hospital staff on improved policies and training.”
The mayor of Salt Lake City said there would be an Internal Affairs investigation conducted after the "unacceptable" behavior that was displayed. Now, just over a month later, there's an update on Detective Payne's investigation.
Detective Payne had stated after the incident that he was acting under the orders of his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy. Tracy says he spoke to Wubbels on the phone and told her about implied consent, but she cut him off and demanded a warrant. According to Tracy's report, "she appeared to not want to hear my explanation."
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has now made a decision following the investigation.
According to Sgt. Brandon Shearer, a spokesman for the department, Brown made the decision to fire Detective Payne after he violated department policies by arresting and dragging nurse Wubbles from the hospital. Payne's attorney says he's served the department well, and didn't believe his most recent actions warranted termination.
Payne's supervisor, Lt. Tracy, was also demoted to officer. His lawyer was not available for comment, according to ABC News.
Payne had been previously disciplined in 2013 for sexually harassing a female co-worker in a "persistent and severe" way.
Do you think the police department made the right decision? Let us know.