Elder Patriot – There’s no telling why some people do the things they do. A Salt Lake City police detective was so intent on getting a blood sample from an unconscious patient that he ignored the law and ordered the attending nurse to draw the blood despite her protestations that he was asking her to break the law.
“I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow,” Detective Jeff Payne threatened.
University of Utah Hospital nurse, Alex Wubbels would not break the law and told him so.
Without a warrant for the blood and because the patient was not a suspect in a crime, Wubbels was legally bared from drawing blood without the patient’s consent.
After the nurse explains the legal conundrum Payne goes ballistic:
What was this moron thinking? Payne is a trained phlebotomist so he knew the law and not only ignored it, he violently arrested the nurse for not doing his dirty work in breaking the law.
Payne had reached detective level. How could he not have known that anything discovered in the patient’s blood as a result of an illegal search could not be used as evidence, anyway.
At first it appeared that municipal authorities were going to whitewash this clear miscarriage of justice. Initially, they only suspended Payne from the city police department’s blood-draw department, but allowed him to remain on otherwise full active-duty.
Wubbels, of course, was not charged after the incident.
But, it was only after Wubbels released the video of Payne’s illegal demands and overheated reaction that city officials placed Payne and another officer on administrative leave pending a full investigation into the incident.
Salt Lake County district attorney Simajit Gill announced he was exploring the possibility of opening a criminal investigation into the incident. After viewing the video he said: “On the face of the evidence, there is concern that is raised about this officer’s conduct.”
This is the kind of hyper aggressive behavior that gives all cops a bad name and undermines community confidence in the men and women in blue. Sadly, it’s prevalent in enough cases that Americans of all stripes have a distinct aversion to dealing with police they don’t know.
It’s now incumbent on the D.A. to prosecute this cretin to the fullest extent of the law so that at least in this case the people know that justice was done.