Sep 022017

Last few days the local news has been blowing up over the release of body cam footage showing a cop arresting a nurse. In the end, who’s in trouble here? The cop. Oh, boy howdy, the cop. Every bus the governor, mayor and chief of police can find, they’re preparing to throw him under… and for good reason. Here’s the short form:

1: On July 26, there was a high speed pursuit. The idjit being chased managed to hit a semi truck near Wellsville, resulting in an impressive explosion; idjit was killed, truck driver – who *everyone* acknowledges was doing nothing wrong – was injured.

2: Injured truck driver was taken to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

3: For some reason, detective Jeff Payne decided that he needed to have a blood sample from the unconscious truck driver, and he needed it Right Now. Presumably this was to test for booze or drugs or some such in the truck driver… reason able enough, I suppose, under the circumstances, but his need fr it seems to have been excessive.

4: On-duty nurse Alex Wubbels knew the law and Hospital policy: they’re not allowed to draw blood from a patient for the cops unless:

A: The patient consents – which he couldn’t, being unconscious.

B: The patient was under arrest, which he wasn’t.

C: The police have a valid search warrant calling for a blood sample… which they didn’t have (but could have obtained easily enough)

5: Detective Payne was having none of it, and threatened the nurse with arrest for obstruction of justice.

6: Nurse contacts her supervisor via cell phone with a speakerphone

7: Supervisor tells the detective that the nurse is right, and that he’s making a mistake in threatening the nurse.

8: Detective goes ape and aggressively arrests the nurse.

9: In the end no charges are filed because, duh, nurse broke no laws

10: And then in late August the bodycam footage is released to the public and the detectives career hits a bit of a speedbump.

The truck driver patient is reportedly a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho; the going assumption is that detective Payne wanted that blood sample Right Friggen’ Now in order to absolutely clear the reserve police officer of any taint of guilt in the incident (even though, again, there’s no suspicion that anyone but the original idjit was responsible for the crash). The truck river is still in the hospital in serious condition.


Video shows Utah nurse screaming, being handcuffed after refusing to take blood from unconscious victim

And so now…

SLC mayor, police chief apologize for officer who arrested nurse; criminal investigation to follow

Ruh-roh, Raggy.


Here’s the full near-19-minute footage.

Hard to come up with a better representation of detective Payne than this…

Here are some other angles:

 Posted by at 3:34 pm
  • B-Sabre

    That hospital security guard sure as hell did a lot of good….

    And it looks like the “Idjit” was aiming at the oncoming truck…

  • Paul451

    They’re focusing solely on the cop who arrested the nurse. Ignoring the cops who not only watched, but ran interference against hospital admins trying to talk the cop down. Ignoring the Lt. who ordered the blood sample taken without a warrant (which prompted Payne to arrest the nurse), lectured the nurse while she was in the car, cuffs, and ignored attempts by hospital admins to explain that what the cops had been demanding was actually illegal under both state and federal law.

    • Scottlowther

      Actually, the report is that his boss is in trouble as well, and the other cops there got a talkin’ to, for what it’s worth.

      As for everyone else… not really sure what you *should* do when confronted with a cop in the line of duty who has clearly gone round the bend. Do you whack him upside the head? Seems lifespan-limiting.

      • Paul451

        In the press conference, it was constant references to “this person” and not judging the department by “this one person”. Media questions about the other cops were waved behind “there’ll be a full (internal) investigation)” and “we’ve talked to everyone”. But it’s clear that it’s a scape-goat play.

        • allen

          every single one of those cops that stood by and watched, knowing what was happening was illegal, should be sued individually. don’t go after the department..go after the individual cops and their assets. when some idiot loses their house, car, and kid’s college fund over standing there and doing nothing…maybe the rest will finally pay attention.

          • Paul451

            Cops have individual immunity from lawsuits resulting from on-the-job actions.

          • allen

            it’s been done before, if the cops have been found to be acting specifically and knowingly outside of established department procedures.

            I think we can determine that happened here, at least with the guy who arrested her…he was informed about proper procedure, and decided that didn’t apply to him.

    • B-Sabre

      That’s one take – but getting a subordinate to actively deter a superior officer when they are about to go off the rails goes against 90% of the training police officers get (aside from the one presentation they get from the department lawyers about illegal orders) – the Thin Blue Line and all that stuff.

      On the other hand, the officers restraining the other hospital workers also probably kept them from being charged with Assaulting an Officer, which would have confused things entirely.

  • allen

    I think this is the “charge someone with something” mentality.

    the cops think “the driver in the high speed chase is dead. can’t charge him. who else do we have? the driver of the truck. let’s see if we can get something on him and at least get some sort of token jail time for someone out of this whole mess…”

    and thus the urgency of getting that blood sample.

    • Paul451

      Kinda. The speculation is that the chase was unlawful at the point where the fatality occurred — violating their own public safety protocols — and hence the burnt truck driver would have been justified in suing for headline-grabbing sums of cash. The team’s lieutenant knew that the driver had opiates in his system from his treatment, which could be used to falsely claim he was high while driving, thus contributed to the crash, which would get them out of a liability issue. The nurse suspected something shonky in the way they were asking and stood on procedure (being the usual “cover your ass” safety net), but..

  • Peter Hanely

    Thinking about this, some of the old TV westerns had episodes where a local sheriff was the villain, and it was necessary for the protagonists to take up arms against the criminal lawman. Such would be unthinkable for most people today. And inadvisable in most cases.

    • Scottlowther

      The trope of the Lawman Gone Bad Needs Takin’ Down generally requires that the lawman in question being actively, full-time villainous, not just occasionally power-mad.