LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Utah Officer Fired For Arrest of Nurse, Recorded On Video

A video frame taken from a police body camera as nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake City Police Department has fired the police detective who was video recorded aggressively hand-cuffing a hospital nurse who refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient in July.

The video, recorded by a police body camera, of the rough arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels went viral, drawing widespread condemnation and renewing the national debate over the appropriate use of force by the police.

Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown relieved Detective Jeff Payne of his duties and disciplined his watch commander, Lt. James Tracey, by demoting him to the rank of officer.

The action comes after an internal affairs report released Sept. 13, which found that both officers were in violation of department policy. In a highly detailed "Notice of Decision" letter, Brown said the two officers failed in their requirement to treat all citizens "equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity."

"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," Brown wrote.

The incident was sparked by the case of an off duty Idaho reserve police officer whose vehicle was struck by another motorist fleeing the police in a pickup truck. Payne came to the hospital insisting that blood be drawn from the unconscious patient. Wubbels was arrested after "repeatedly and calmly" explaining to Payne that hospital policy required a warrant or the patient's consent before blood could be drawn. Brown faulted Payne for, among other things, not seeking to de-escalate his confrontation with Wubbels by taking his demands to her supervisor.

"You inappropriately acted against Ms. Wubbels," wrote Brown.

Payne and Tracey have five days to appeal Chief Brown's action.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org