Officer could face criminal charges for arresting U of U nurse

Det. Jeff Payne placed on administrative leave pending criminal investigation

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - A Salt Lake City police officer who arrested a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital is now off duty and could face criminal charges himself.

Following hospital policy and constitutional law, nurse Alex Wubbels refused to allow officers to draw blood from an unconscious accident victim on July 26th. Police bodycam video shows Detective Jeff Payne then going after her, pushing her outside and handcuffing her.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says she was "outraged" by the video.

"What I saw was completely unacceptable to the values of my Administration, and the the values of the Salt Lake City Police department and this community," Mayor Biskupski said Friday.

"We've looked at the actions that took place," Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said. "The policies that could have prevented it and the training that must be done...We want people to trust in the policy, or in the process, procedure and know that we will hold our officers accountable."

In a statement released late Friday afternoon Wubbels said: "This morning, I received a call from the Mayor of Salt Lake City and the Chief of Police.  They both offered me personal apologies, which I felt were sincere.  I have accepted those apologies, and I look forward to working with both of them to help promote further civil dialogue and education."

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill called for a criminal investigation into the incident. Detective Payne will be placed on administrative leave while the Salt Lake Unified Police Department conducts that investigation.

Wubbels says people have rallied around her, stating: "The outpouring of support has been beyond what I could have imagined.  Since the incident, the City has taken this matter seriously, and I believe that positive change will occur."

As of Friday night, a petition on Change.org calling for disciplinary action for Det. Payne had over 120,000 signatures.


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