Officer Plans To Appeal Firing In Nurse Arrest

Patrick Harmon

The officers have five days to appeal the chief's decisions.

Detective Jeff Payne, accused of assaulting and unlawfully arresting the nurse, was sacked from the force on Tuesday, according to Salt Lake City police spokesman Detective Robert Ungricht and police records. The truck driver, who was a reserve officer at an Idaho police department, died late last month.

Police later apologized and changed their policies.

Payne nevertheless insisted on the blood draw, saying the evidence would protect the man.

A video from the arresting officer's body camera shows nurse Alex Wubbels, RN, and Mr. Payne in a standoff over whether the officer should be allowed to draw blood from an unconscious patient harmed in a motor vehicle accident.

Payne and Tracy were placed on leave pending the investigation, and Payne was sacked from his part-time job as an ambulance driver. They questioned why the police department took action against Payne only after the bodycam footage was released to the public.

Brown called Tracy the "catalyst that led to the arrest" in his letter Tuesday demoting the officer. The hospital responded by barring law enforcement from patient-care areas and direct contact with nurses. Police claim he threatened them with a knife; Harmon's family says he had issues with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

'Your lack of judgment and leadership in this matter is unacceptable, and as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the department, ' Brown said.

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KSL obtained the chief's letters to Payne and Tracy through a public records request. He wrote that Tracy had ordered Payne to arrest Wubbles for interfering with a police investigation "without fully understanding the nature of the situation".

The letter said Wubbels told investigators that Tracy minimized her concerns, intimidated and lectured her, and made her feel like she was to blame for the events.

Furthermore, Brown said Tracy's actions have caused "substantial damage" to the relationship the police department has with local hospitals, nurses and other health care officials that "will take considerable time and resources to rebuild".

According to the Associated Press, Nurse Wubbels does plan to meet with the city to discuss next steps which could include a settlement.

Nurse Alex Wubbels told the Tribune that she's just glad the encounter was captured on bodycam footage and emphasized the need for police bodycams throughout Utah because they aid in officer accountability.

Police Chief Mike Brown says he stands behind Fox.

Ms Wubbels told reporters at a news conference in September: "The only job I have as a nurse is to keep my patients safe".

Wubbels' attorney, Karra Porter, said the detective's termination is not a surprise to anyone who watched the body cam footage.

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