Officer Plans To Appeal Firing In Nurse Arrest

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A Utah police officer was sacked Tuesday after being seen on video roughly handcuffing a nurse because she refused to allow a blood draw in an incident that became a flashpoint in the national conversation about use of force.

During an internal investigation in September, the police department concluded that both Payne and his watch commander, Lt. James Tracey, disregarded the department's arrest and officer conduct policies when Payne handcuffed Wubbels.

"I am deeply troubled by your lack of sound, professional judgment and your discourteous, disrespectful and unwarranted behavior, which unnecessarily escalated a situation that could and should have been resolved in a manner far different from the course of action you chose to pursue", the chief wrote.

Payne's attorney, Greg Skordas, said he will likely appeal. A lawyer for Tracy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Police claim he threatened them with a knife; Harmon's family says he had issues with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

"Your lack of judgment and leadership in this matter is unacceptable, and as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the department", Brown said. "This is insane", she said as she was led away.

The chief acknowledged in his letter that Payne had withheld important information that might have changed Tracy's mind, but said it did not excuse his actions that day.

"Chief Brown took significant steps, and seems to understand the importance of regaining public trust", Porter wrote in a tweet. Porter said she hopes the events are a catalyst to more public conversations about appropriate police behaviour.

The video shows Mr. Payne accusing the nurse of interfering with a criminal case.

"I think I owe it to the body camera footage", she said. "Without that, my story never would have had the impact that it had", she said.

Porter told the Tribune she plans to meet with city officials next to discuss potential financial settlements.

But Harmon's family and civil rights activists applauded the decision to involve the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying the district attorney should resign for defending the officer.

She said: "I will say that the level of scrutiny that this case received would not have been the case had there been no bodycam footage".

Wubbels, the charge nurse on duty, politely explained the hospital's policy and even got a hospital supervisor on the phone to defend her.

The patient was not suspected of wrongdoing. He was an off-duty reserve Idaho police officer driving a semitrailer when he was hit by a man fleeing police in a pickup truck. Without a search warrant or the patient's permission, Payne had no right to draw blood, but he remained insistent with Wubbels. Ms. Wubbels pleads for help as she is arrested. Wubbels was later freed from the handcuffs and has not been charged.

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