If Salt Lake City detective Jeff Payne thought he could manhandle a nurse and trample on the Constitution at the same time, he’s just beginning to find out he was sorely mistaken.
On Thursday, video emerged from the July 26 incident at University Hospital’s Burn Unit involving Payne and nurse Alex Wubbels. In the video, Payle assaulted and arrested Wubbels for refusing to allow him to draw an unconscious patient’s blood without his consent.
At first, Payne’s department only suspended him from its blood-draw unit, but now the city has placed Payne, along with an officer who was with him during the incident, on administrative leave until an investigation is completed, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Salt Lake County district attorney Sim Gill also announced that he’s looking into opening a criminal investigation, saying Friday: “On the face of the evidence, there is concern that is raised about this officer’s conduct. But the whole point of an investigation is to gather the information about this situation.”
Both Mayor Jackie Biskupski and SLC police chief Mike Brown have apologized to Wubbles, according to a joint statement from both.
So far, Wubbels and her attorney have no plans to sue the city, but she does want to help prevent incidents like she went through from happening to others.
In a Thursday press conference, Wubbles said:
“I think right now, I believe in the goodness of society. I want to see people do the right thing first and I want to see this be a civil discourse. And if that’s not something that’s going to happen and there is refusal to acknowledge the need for growth and the need for re-education, then we will likely be forced to take that type of step. But people need to know that this is out there,” she told the Deseret News.
“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry. I feel a lot of things. And I am still confused. I’m a health care worker. The only job I have is to keep my patients safe. A blood draw, it just gets thrown around there like it’s some simple thing. But blood is your blood. That’s your property. And when a patient comes in a critical state, that blood is extremely important and I don’t take it lightly,” she said.
While law enforcement certainly deserves the public’s full support and appreciation, it’s important to maintain credibility by removing and punishing bad apples like Payne. Thankfully, this appears to be happening, but would Salt Lake City officials be taking this action if the video hadn’t been make public?
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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