The police detective caught on video forcefully arresting a Utah nurse, after she refused to allow law enforcement to draw a blood sample from a patient, has been fired from his part-time job as a paramedic, according to The Associated Press.
Detective Jeff Payne was fired after a video surfaced in which he said he would retaliate against the nurse, Gold Cross Ambulance President Mike Moffitt told reporters on Tuesday, noting that Payne’s remarks “were very concerning and don’t reflect how the company treats people.”
Moffitt says Payne has worked for the agency for more than 30 years and the arrest on the video was uncharacteristic.
The nurse, Alex Wubbels, is being called a “hero” for protecting her patient, and Payne was put on paid leave by the Salt Lake City police department after the initial video of him dragging the crying nurse out of the hospital went viral. The hospital has since banned law enforcement officials from any direct interaction with its nurses.
The viral video sparked heated debate over patients’ rights and law enforcement techniques. A former Olympian, Wubbels works at the University of Utah Hospital. On July 26, a police phlebotomist wanted to take a blood sample from a male patient that had been a driver involved in an earlier truck crash.
Although the man wasn’t the cause of the accident, as part of their investigation, police wanted a blood sample to determine whether he had illicit substances in his system at the time of the crash.
Wubbels calmly informed officers who were there to collect the sample that, according to hospital policy, they needed patient consent to draw the blood. Without the ability to obtain consent, they would need to present an electronic warrant or place her patient under arrest to gain access to his blood.
The patient has since been identified as a police officer from Rigby, Idaho.
Salt Lake City Police have begun an internal investigation into the incident, and the city’s mayor has issued an apology on behalf of the officer.
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