On July 26, 2017, 36 days ago, Salt Lake City detective Jeff Payne was attempting to draw blood from an unconscious patient at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City without fulfilling any of the conditions necessary for this procedure. Body cam footage released today, Sept. 1, shows him physically assaulting and handcuffing supervising nurse Alex Wubbels and shoving her into a squad car.
Wubbels was released without being charged some 20 minutes later and Payne has supposedly been taken off the vampire squad without further punishment. As is invariably the case, no personal responsibility is shown to have been an issue in the matter. When cops foul up it's always due to a "lack of training".
In Monday's news conference, University of Utah Police Chief Dale
Brophy apologized to Wubbels and hospital staff for his early response
to the incident. He said he didn't watch the body camera footage until
Thursday evening and realized then that he didn't take it seriously
"I was able to see firsthand how poorly this situation was
handled," Brophy said. "This is not how law enforcement professionals
should act." He added that Wubbels "should not have been subjected to
arrest for doing her job" and vowed to put his officers through
It's important to remember some things about this incident. First of all, Wubbels couldn't legally give the cop permission to withdraw the blood. She would have been liable for prosecution and could well have lost her own job had she done so. Second, the behavior of Payne was in no way acceptable regardless of the circumstances. An employee of a private business would have been fired for what he did but law enforcement personnel have no concern for this. He demonstrated no knowledge of the law and no ability to handle a confrontational situation, one, in fact, that he had personally created. People like this can't be allowed to carry guns and badges. Finally, the University of Utah policemen displayed shameful behavior themselves in not intervening immediately.