Update: Utah Officer Fired For Arrest Of Nurse

We all watched the viral video, recorded by a police body camera, that shows the rough arrest of University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, drawing widespread condemnation. Our readers had a lot of opinions on this situation and thankfully we can report that the Salt Lake City Police Department has fired the police detective who was recorded on video aggressively handcuffing a hospital nurse who refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient in July.

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.

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

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

What do you think? Share in the comments section below.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Great job for standing up for your patient. A patient advocate to the core. I’m sorry for you. I was an ER RN for 8 yrs. I had great relations with the Colorado Springs PD. I cannot image how that felt. I hope you can go back to care for your patients and stand up for them again, as you fearless had.
    .

  2. I have been a nurse for many years and have had nothing but good relations with the police officers I have dealt with over the years. It is unfortunate that one person can cause many polite and good officers to have their reputations tarnished. It is more than appropriate for the officers involved to have been fired and disciplined. The treatment of the nurse was nothing short of assault by the officer and should never be allowed. Unfortunately many nurses are assaulted at work by patients, families and visitors. As nurses we should never put up physical or verbal abuse of ourselves, colleagues or patients!

  3. As a nurse I was appalled by that officer’s actions.. I have never had an incident with a police officer but this was definitely out of the ordinary & he was out of control & received what he deserved.
    ER Nurses usually have a good rapor with the local police officers so I can’t imagine what this guys problem was

  4. I agree that he be fired. I think he has acted like this before and gotten away with it. Thankfully the camera filming this showed this bullying and harsh behavior. He acted like he was above the law-a dangerous attitude! The cameras aren’t a deterrent to bad behavior by cops but are protecting the public.

  5. Unfortunately the police officers have immunity one officer can liar on front the judge under oath, never have a convicted for perjury, the police chief does not charge him for lying. That is why the police abuse the citizens by charging them with false charges.
    always the police to fill out your report the victims are made saying that the aggressor was resisting to arrest. thanks to the cameras they are self-blaming.

  6. I’m happy to see that the internal affairs division didn’t just sweep this under the rug and that the police chief took their findings on this incident seriously. That detective should have known his actions were in the wrong immediately after he did them, but how could he when his watch commander did not disapline him for it or reverse what was happening? I hope the watch commander that is now just an officer learns something from this and doesn’t just become bitter and sinnacle. I’m hoping that the fired detective also learns from this.

  7. 27 years on the job, I would liked to know one that 27 years has this detective broke policy, There is no way anybody is going to convince me he has not crossed the line in those 27 years on the job, I’d liked to know how many people are sitting in prison because of his actions or lying on police reports, If you have the ability to act that way in a hospital with many witnesses around, One can only imagine how he has mistreated people when the camera’s were not rolling..
    I think his arrogance finally caught up to him
    And because he was on the job for that many years, he felt like he was above the law and Nobody is going to convince me he has not crossed the line in the past to make that arrest. I think they need to take a look at all the arrest he has been involved in in the last 20 years and reopen the cases were people were convicted because of his roll in the incident where there were no other police officers to verify his story

  8. As a paramedic of many years and butting heads with several nurses, I have to say this young lady was nothing but professional during this whole mess. I feel the officer was taken back due to the nurse standing her ground.

  9. The decision want a delayed one, but at least it finally was dealt with, not ignored. However, was there a televised public apology by the at-fault officers ???

    • As a nurse, I wouldn’t want or need that. An apology from all the guilty parties in the form of a bigger payout would have felt a little more satisfying. And, more importantly it would have been an apology to the profession, not just one nurse. What should not have happened was the “sell out” after just a few months for a measly 500K (fast return on investment$$ for the attorney who probably got 30%). Instead, I wish she and her attorney would have held out a while/or went to court because a $500K payout doesn’t cause enough pain to even begin to redirect thinking that this kind of stuff is ok.

  10. My opinion is that Lt. James should have been fired as well. Although, perhaps it is more humbling to retain your job and be demoted. I hope he behaved decently to those previously reporting to him. If not, payback is most assuredly coming his way.

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