On Friday, the video of a Salt Lake City detective made national headlines after he was caught violently manhandling the head nurse at the University of Utah Medical Center, Alex Wubbels. As of today, the detective, Jeff Payne, was fired from his second job as a part-time ambulance driver.
Payne’s termination from Gold Cross Ambulance service comes on the heels of the comments he made to Wubbels at her hospital.
“Those remarks are just not reflective of our company’s philosophy and the service we provide and because of that behavior we felt we had to separate ways,” Gold Cross president Mike Moffitt said. “His comments reflected poorly on the company and violated several company policies.”
Payne is currently on administrative leave at the Salt Lake City Police Department.
The identity of the unconscious patient whose rights Wubbels was defending, it turns out, is a reserve police officer from the Rigby Police Department in Idaho. In a press release, the Rigby Police Department identifies the unconscious patient as Officer William Gray and praises the hospital staff for their “watchful, professional, and competent care.” The statement also goes on to commend Wubbels specifically for “standing firm, and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim.”
Payne had been attempting to collect blood from the unconscious officer. She correctly insisted that, to do so, he needed a warrant, consent from the victim, or for the victim to be under arrest, none of which was the case. When Wubbels’ supervisor, who was on the phone, corroborated her rationale, Payne snapped, manhandled the nurse, placed her under arrest and accused her of obstructing justice.
Both Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief have publicly apologized to Wubbels.
Gold Cross’s decision to terminate Jeff Payne is a step in the right direction against police officers and detectives who presume to be above the very law they are sworn to uphold.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.