Police officer fired for forcibly arresting U of Utah nurse to appeal decision

A lawyer on behalf of Detective Jeff Payne, who was fired Tuesday for forcibly arresting a nurse at Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Hospital in July, said Mr. Payne plans to appeal the "unfair" decision, according to Utah Public Radio.

Mr. Payne's attorney told Utah Public Radio Tuesday Mr. Payne would likely still be employed by the Salt Lake City Police Department if the body camera footage from the incident had not been leaked online. The lawyer said Mr. Payne would agree to be disciplined, but the decision to fire him "went beyond what's fair," the report states.

Mr. Paye was fired Oct. 10 after he forcibly arrested University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels, RN, July 26, claiming she was impeding a criminal investigation by not drawing blood from an unconscious hospital patient. In the video footage, Ms. Wubbels claimed hospital policy wouldn't permit her to draw blood until the patient had provided consent, was under arrest or police had a warrant.

In Mr. Payne's termination letter, obtained by the Deseret News, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown wrote he was "deeply troubled by [Mr. Payne's] lack of sound, professional judgement and [his] discourteous … 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 [Mr. Payne] chose to pursue."

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