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Salt Lake City Investigates Cop Who Arrested Nurse in Viral Video

September 7, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Salt Lake City, Utah—Salt Lake County is investigating possible criminal charges against a police officer who roughly arrested a nurse on the job at University of Utah Hospital, District Attorney Sim Gill announced Sept. 1. The announcement came after a body-camera video of the July 26 arrest went viral: Detective Jeff Payne grabbed Alex Wubbels from behind a nurses’ station and handcuffed her after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient, a truck driver injured in a collision. Payne wanted his blood drawn so it could be tested for alcohol, but Wubbels told him she couldn’t legally do it because he didn’t have a warrant and the patient was neither under arrest nor able to give consent to a search. She was released without being charged, and Payne has been placed on administrative leave. The arrest “sends a chilling message about the safety of nurses and the rights of patients,” National Nurses United Co-President Jean Ross said in a statement Sept. 1. “At a time of a growing problem of workplace violence against RNs and other hospital employees, it is especially appalling to see police assaulting an RN for properly, and legally, doing her job.” Read more

September 7, 2017

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