Utah officer fired for forcibly handcuffing nurse who defied him

Nurse Alex Wubbels followed hospital policy and advice from her bosses when she told Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne that he could not get the blood sample without a warrant or consent from the patient said her lawyer Karra Porter

A Utah police officer was sacked Tuesday after being seen on video roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw in an incident that became a flashpoint in the national conversation about use of force.

A lawyer for a Utah police officer fired after being caught on video arresting a nurse said he plans to appeal the decision he calls unfair.

Wubbels has faulted officers from the university for refusing to intervene in her arrest after she asked for their help.

Mr. Payne's watch commander, James Tracy, was also demoted from lieutenant to officer for his role in the incident.

'Without the body camera footage, it would have been a she-said, they-said, ' Porter said.

Ed Brass, Tracy's attorney, said his client will also appeal. In the video, Ms. Wubbels says hospital policy won't permit the blood draw unless the patient has provided consent, is under arrest or the police have a warrant. He could be seen in multiple body camera videos grabbing Wubbels by the arms, handcuffing her and forcing her into an unmarked auto as she cried "you're assaulting me" and "this is insane". "Alex feels very strongly that her story would have never been told if it weren't for the body camera footage".

The statements made by Payne and Tracy during their Internal Affairs investigations were redacted from Brown's letters. University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy apologized to Wubbels in September, saying footage of the incident showed "how poorly the situation was handled".

"Lt. Tracy remains a Salt Lake City police officer". "But I think the chief reacted to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny in making a decision that doesn't fit the conduct".

Patrick Harmon was killed by a Salt Lake City cop.

Wubbels' attorney, Karra Porter, said they are pleased that Brown took action and recognized that the officers made crucial mistakes that have eroded public trust.

How did the nurse and her attorney respond?

It would have been a he-said, she-said or multiple he-saids against a she-said. "If detective Payne does not believe this is a fireable offense, then I'm glad detective Payne will not be out on the street in uniform tomorrow".

The next step for Wubbels will be deciding whether to file a civil lawsuit. Porter said she hopes the events are a catalyst to more public conversations about appropriate police behaviour.

"The decision... is in keeping with the high level of accountability we owe the people of Salt Lake City", Mayor Jackie Biskupski explained, according to CNN.

"The hiring and firing of staff is really an administrative function, but I think we need to look at what happened, how we can prevent this, what policies need to be updated, modified, changed so that going forward residents can count on a safe interaction from our police department".

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