2nd officer placed on leave after arrest of Utah nurse
The Salt Lake City police officer who was filmed earlier this month arresting a nurse wants to apologize, his lawyer reportedly said Tuesday.
Det. Jeff Payne’s attorney said his client would “love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here," KTVU.com reported. "If he could do this over, he would do it differently.”
The video of Payne arresting the nurse, Alex Wubbels, on July 26 went viral.
Payne handcuffed the nurse after she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient, citing hospital policy. The detective had support from his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, who said Wubbels could be arrested if she didn’t allow the blood draw.
An investigation by a civilian review board found Payne had apparently become frustrated after a long wait to perform the blood draw and ignored the nurse’s correct explanation that she could not allow it without a warrant or formal consent from the patient, who had been in a car crash.
Salt Lake City police apologized for the arrest, changed their blood-draw policies and placed Payne and Tracy on paid administrative leave after the video from police body cameras drew widespread attention online.
An internal investigation found evidence that the officers violated several policies. Police Chief Mike Brown is now weighing possible punishment that could include firing.
Internal affairs investigations by Salt Lake City police confirmed allegations that Payne harassed a department employee in a "severe and persistent" way in 2013. It included several incidents of unwanted physical contact and a disparaging email, the records say.
Payne’s lawyer, Greg Skordas, said Monday that the reprimand was a problem, but it was only part of Payne’s decorated 27-year record with the department.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.