SLC mayor to announce findings of investigations into police officers who arrested nursexalid 14
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski planned Wednesday afternoon to brief news reporters on the status of the police department internal affairs investigation and a Police Civilian Review Board review regarding the actions of two Salt Lake City Police officers at University Hospital on July 26, when a nurse was arrested.
A statement about the news conference noted that Wednesday’s announcement is not the final step in the process. The reports and findings of internal affairs and Civilian Review Board will be sent to Police Chief Mike Brown, who will use them to help guide his decision as it relates to the employment status of the two officers involved, the mayor’s statement said.
Detective Jeff Payne, who arrested University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels after she refused to allow him to obtain a blood sample from an unconscious patient injured in a fiery crash, is currently on administrative leave.
Also on leave is Lt. James Tracy, who was Payne’s supervisor the night of July 26.
Both were put on administrative leave Sept. 1 — a day after Wubbels’ attorney released police body camera footage of the arrest.
Also on Sept. 1, a criminal investigation was launched at the request of the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office.
Salt Lake City police have said that within 24 hours of the July 26 episode, an internal affairs investigation began.
Also underway is a probe by the FBI for any civil rights violations under the color of law.
Payne went to University Hospital at the request of the Logan Police Department to draw blood from a patient, 43-year-old William Gray, who had been involved in a fiery collision the same day in northern Utah while driving a semi truck.
Wubbels told Payne, according to the footage, that it is against hospital policy for police to take blood from a patient unless the patient gives consent, is under arrest, or if the police have a warrant.
Payne can be heard on body camera footage telling another officer that if Wubbels “interferes in any way” with the blood draw, he has directions from the watch commander, Tracy, to arrest her.
Payne’s body camera footage confirms Logan police Chief Gary Jensen’s assertion that his officers did not push to get blood from the crash victim after learning that Payne was encountering resistance from Wubbels.
As Wubbels sits handcuffed in Payne’s patrol car nearby, Payne and Tracy — who ordered Payne to get the blood in the first place — confer about the escalating situation, according to the footage.
Tracy says he has just learned that the hospital routinely takes blood from patients such as Gray upon arrival. So he suggests that they tell Logan police to seek a warrant in order to obtain the hospital’s existing blood sample from Gray.
“So, I think what we’ll do is ... this isn’t even our case, I’m tired of dealing with it ... we’ll call Logan back, and we’ll tell them, hey —”
Payne interrupts him: “I’ve already talked to them a couple times.”
“Are they pissed [we can’t get the blood]?” asks Tracy.
No, Payne says.
Jensen has said that one of his detectives investigating the crash told Payne not to worry about pushing for the blood draw because Logan could get the blood through other means. He said Logan officers didn’t initially realize the crash victim was unconscious and thus unable to consent to a blood draw.
“My investigator [tells Payne], ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we’ll go another route. No worries,’” Jensen told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Salt Lake City police have named Payne as the officer who arrested Wubbels but have declined to name Tracy. Defense attorney Edward Brass, however, has confirmed that Tracy is the other officer who was put on leave.
The crash involving Gray, a truck driver and reserve police officer from Rigby, Idaho, occurred July 26 on U.S. 89/91 near Sardine Canyon, when a man fleeing the Utah Highway Patrol crashed a pickup truck into Gray's semi head-on. That man, Marcos Torres, 26, died at the scene.