The Utah cop video recorded roughly handcuffing a nurse after she refused to allow a blood draw on an unconscious patient has been fired.
Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown relieved detective Jeff Payne of his duties for violating department policies when he arrested Alex Wubbels and dragged the screaming nurse out of the hospital
Chief Brown demoted Payne’s supervisor, watch commander Lt. James Tracey, to the rank of officer after viewing the video, which was recorded on police body cams on July 26.
The decision to fire Payne comes after an internal affairs report released Sept. 13 found both officers violated department policy by failing to uphold the department’s 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 in a termination letter to Payne, which can be read below.
“In examining your conduct, I am deeply troubled by your lack of sound professional judgment and your discourteous, disrespectful, and unwarranted behavior, which unnecessarily escalated a situation that could and should have been resolved in a manner far different from the course of action you chose to pursue.”
“You inappropriately acted against Ms. Wubbels,” Brown added.
Payne’s attorney Greg Skordas argued firing Payne was excessive and said his client served the department well for nearly three decades.
“I‘m really frustrated by the way this case has been processed,
Skordas told the Salt Lake Tribune.
“I do think that Salt Lake City did a fair job of doing the investigation, and I think that their findings are, by and large, accurate. But I think the chief reacted to a lot of public pressure and scrutiny in making a decision that doesn’t fit the conduct.”
Payne was previously disciplined in 2013 after an internal affairs investigation confirmed he sexually harassed a female co-worker.
The former officer worked part-time as a paramedic, but was fired from that job on September 5 after fallout from his arrest of Wubbels continued.
During the incident, Payne threatened to punish the hospital as well as Wubbels by bringing “all the transients” to the hospital and taking the “good patients” elsewhere.
“I’ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” Payne says in the video.
Body cam footage of the incident, which sparked a nationwide conversation on the level of force used by police, can be seen below.