Fired Cop's Attorney Argues His Client Is Being Punished Unfairly Because The Public Got To See His Misconduct

from the but-for-self-inflicted-video dept

A little over a month ago, body cam footage of a police officer trying to bully a nurse into breaking the law went viral. Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne wrapped up his failed intimidation attempt by arresting nurse Alex Wubbels for following her hospital's policy on blood draws. If there are no exigent circumstances and the person not suspected of criminal activity, police need a warrant to draw blood.

None of those factors were present when Detective Payne demanded the hospital draw blood from an accident victim. The victim was, in fact, a reserve police officer from an Idaho law enforcement agency, who had been hit head-on by a fleeing suspect. This officer later died from his injuries. He was in a coma when Detective Payne began demanding the hospital hand over some blood, obviously in no condition to consent to the search.

The entire bodycam video of the incident can be seen below.

Payne argued, after being fired for violating department blood draw policies (and for violating a Supreme Court decision, but Payne isn't expected to know the laws directly affecting his position on the PD's blood draw team), he arrested Wubbels because he "didn't want to create a scene" in the emergency room. If he hadn't arrested her, or demanded she violate both the law and hospital policy, there would have been no scene to be concerned about.

Instead, Payne thought he could intimidate his way through this. Now he's out of a job and attempting to sue his way back in. (Side note: Payne also lost his moonlighting gig as a paramedic as the body cam footage also caught him saying he would start routing "good patients" to another hospital and bring Wubbels' ER "transients.")

His lawyer is making a hell of an argument: Payne was unfairly fired because the public saw him violating department policies.

Attorney Greg Skordas, who represents Payne, said his client plans to appeal a firing he considers unfair and over the top. Skordas said Payne would still be employed if the body camera footage hadn't generated so much attention and blown the events out of proportion.

There are (at least) two ridiculous implications contained in this statement.

First is the implication that the only "proper "investigation is one that clears the officer of wrongdoing and/or results in the most minimal of discipline. The second follows the first: Skordas is basically affirming law enforcement agencies rarely hand out proportionate discipline unless forced to by public outcry. Neither are good looks for Skordas, his client, or his former employer.

The internal investigation reached the same conclusions anyone would have after viewing the body camera footage: both Payne and his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, acted in bad faith during the incident, using both intimidation and a profound -- perhaps even deliberate -- misconstruing of applicable laws in hopes of taking blood from an accident victim (and fellow police officer).

Beneath Skordas' argument is another ugly assertion: his client feels he's being unfairly treated because a police camera captured him behaving exactly the way he behaved when he arrested a nurse for following hospital policy and a Supreme Court decision. Detective Payne deprived someone of their liberty -- albeit briefly -- for daring to stand up for the rights of her patient. That's about as ugly as it gets.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:09pm

    Authority will violence

    Violent scum will complain when you call them out, authority gives them the power to say it does not matter what they did

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:13pm

    Waah! Not fair! I didn't win!

    That's pretty much it, isn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:24am

      Re: Waah! Not fair! I didn't win!

      It goes beyond that. Any law that creates a less privileged class of citizen is unconstitutional, period. If this guy wins his lawsuit, it will establish a precedent that video evidence of you committing crimes is unfair under the law if used against you.

      Since that is pretty much the core principle of our entire legal system, that evidence of wrongdoing is evidence of wrongdoing, then any criminal could use the same defense, and denying it to them would make them a less privileged class of citizen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:13pm

    If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:26pm

    I would almost be tempted to look into something like crowd funding an award for the nurse (for standing up for basic rights... maybe I should cry now)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:26pm

    Skordas said Payne would still be employed if the body camera footage hadn't generated so much attention and blown the events out of proportion.

    It's called accountability. Deal with it!!

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    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:27am

      Re:

      Likewise, any criminal in any prison would still be free if the evidence against them hadn't been given so much attention.

      They'd still have the jobs they lost from not showing up for work due to being in prison, too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 18 Oct 2017 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      The video plainly shows he knew he was in the wrong from the start. What he effectively is false imprisonment of the nurse at the risk to her patients. The cops in the hospital should have violently intervened to stop him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        This is the typical PIG in action, and because of the so called BLUE LINE, the other PIGS allow crap like this to happen. They should have stopped it. If anything every single PIG there should have been fired!!!

        Think about this way, You're the getaway driver for people robbing a bank, and those people shoot and kill someone. YOU as the drive as just as guilty as the others!!! So if that kind of thing applies, so those other PIGS watching this illegal arrest, which is really a kidnapping going down right in front of their facees and didn't do a single thing to stop it. They ALL should have been fired. Hell they all should get some jail time and in fact they all should be SUED.

        The Nurse didn't do anything wrong. The PIGS do what they always do, step all over everyone's rights because they don't give a crap. This is why they're so much against camera's. The Camera doesn't lie, ALL PIGS lie their asses off all the time.

        You're 9 times more likely to be murdered by a PIG then a terrorist!!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Aedile, 18 Oct 2017 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      He would still be employed if he hadn't been an asshat.

      His comment almost seems like the end of every Scooby Doo episode. And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddeling nurses/press!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:28pm

    it's not all bad news for him. he appears to be presidential material.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:30pm

    Skordas said Payne would still be employed if the body camera footage hadn't generated so much attention and blown the events out of proportion.

    The camera footage blew the events INTO proportion. It prevented the officer's actions from being exaggerated OR diminished.

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    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      The unfairness is that he failed at claiming the privilege belonging to 99% of his co-occupationists. So let's make it fair and start applying the same scrutiny and standards and the rule of law to all the rest of them. Fairness and equality for all.

      It would also probably help if they knew something of the law, and had room for less authoritarian type of people in law enforcement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re:

        "It would also probably help if they knew something of the law,"

        What .. like give them some training or something?
        We dont need no stinkin training

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 18 Oct 2017 @ 1:23am

      Re:

      Well, that is out of the usual proportion that would be one highly competent witness' word being pitted against the hearsay of someone without law enforcement training.

      An objectively objective observer like a dashcam severely distorts the proportions of reliability to weigh for judge and jury.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:18am

      Re:

      Really!

      The statement that video evidence blows things out of proportion is beyond ridiculous, it's something I would expect to find on the Onion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Stuart LairdAlexander, 18 Oct 2017 @ 7:07pm

      Re:

      Well, he is correct.

      If it was simply a press release of Cop vs Civilian then of course the Cop would be the correct story. But here, here we get to see what happened, not the story the Cops wanted to tell.

      Moral of this.
      If you don't want to be held accountable for the shitty things you do and say, stop doing and saying them.
      Soon enough, civilian body camera's will be around enough that none of the Departments and FOP obfuscation against FOIA for video will matter very much.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 19 Oct 2017 @ 1:06am

        Re: Re:

        Soon enough, civilian body camera's will be around enough that none of the Departments and FOP obfuscation against FOIA for video will matter very much.

        Not a problem, Spain already figured out the solution to that little issue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:36pm

    Two for the price of one

    It stinks to me like the police were insistent because they were hoping to get evidence that Gray was in fault in the collision.

    The suspect was fleeing from the police when he collided with Gray. My guess is that the pursuit was against policy, so Gray's death would have been the fault of the police...unless of course he was drunk...

    I wonder if they would have resorted to a little evidence tampering, if the blood test didn't turn out "right"... ("...but first we've got to get that %$@*%$!!! nurse to draw the blood.")

    Misconduct piled on misconduct...

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    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:58pm

      Re: Two for the price of one

      What is simply wacked-out is that these guys are so intent on exercising their real and imagine powers like bulls in a china shop that this one was essentially attacking a fellow officer, using the incident with a fleeing suspect as leverage. Irony at the very least.

      I wonder how this all would have flown if he had managed to get a blood sample through someone more easily frightened into submission, and the victim officer had survived...

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      • icon
        Coyne Tibbets (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 4:04am

        Re: Re: Two for the price of one

        Well, based on my speculations above, it probably would have proceeded with Gray being charged with DUI. Because I suspect there was a 100% chance that the blood would have tested DUI.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 8:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

          Is a lab blood test for alcohol able to detect if alcohol was added to the blood sample after it was taken from the subject?

          If it can't then that's certainly the kind of thing a lawyer would want to argue over.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 5:52pm

      Re: Two for the price of one

      My guess is that the pursuit was against policy…

      Your “guess”, although perhaps widely shared with many other uninformed commenters, nevertheless seems at this point to be entirely without foundation and completely meritless.

      Police identify man who died in fiery crash and praises trooper's actions”, by Will Feelright, Cache Valley Daily, Jul 27, 2010

      Because [Utah Highway Patrol] troopers were in pursuit of Torres at the time of the crash, Logan City Police officers were called to investigate the accident. They interviewed witnesses and tried to reconstruct what happened.

      As part of their examination, [Logan City Police Chief Gary] Jensen watched dash-cam video of the crash. He said it appears the trooper did everything correct, from the time he initiated his lights and sirens, to the crash occurring 10-seconds later.

      “It appears to me to be good judgement making. Good communication on the radio from the troopers, I mean they’re doing the right things. Obviously post-accident, those guys are heroes. They did everything just right. From shutting down the highway immediately and then seeing to patient care, they did a fantastic job.”

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Re: Two for the price of one

        s/2010/2017

        Everyone makes mistakes. Obviously.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

          Except when the police do it, you're the one SCREWED. You can lose your job. Have to pay out a low of money for a lawyer, etc. The police are almost always protected by the UNION. This PIG will just end up some other city's problems when he's hired someplace else. That's how it works. All about the BLUE LINE.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Coyne Tibbets (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 4:15am

        Re: Re: Two for the price of one

        Really? Here in Orlando, the police pursued a suspect at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, for two and a half hours. In blatant violation of policy. Lied to their police Commander by radio that they were doing no such thing, even as.you could hear over the radio the racing engines and squealing tires.

        And that's where it would have ended, back slaps all around, if it hadn't been for the fact the chase ended in an accident that killed someone. We heard the radio calls only because the ensuing lawsuit forced them to be revealed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

          We heard the radio calls…

          Police investigating fatal accident after UHP trooper's pursuit”, byWill Feelright, Cache Valley Daily, July 27, 2017

          Police radio traffic, provided by Broadcastify, described the scene as two troopers were trying to pull the man over.

                Trooper 1: “We are going to be 10-80. Southbound 89-91, approaching the Park N’ Ride. Do you want to notify Box Elder?”

                Dispatcher 1: “10-4”

                Dispatcher 2: “Copy, 10-80 southbound.”

                Trooper 1: “Send medical and fire. He just went head-on with a semi.”

                Dispatcher 2: “10-4. What’s the location?”

                Trooper 2: “We are right by the South Valley R.V. Just barely north of it.”

          Approximate location of fatal crash near Wellsville, Utah.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 9:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

            Approximate location of fatal crash near Wellsville, Utah.

            Approximate beginning of pursuit along U.S. Highway 89/91 at intersection of Utah State Highway 101.

            Attempted police stop leads to fiery crash: 1 fatality, 1 critical injury near Wellsville”, by Amy Macavinta, HJnews.com, Jul 26, 2017

            The driver of the truck reportedly turned around near the American West Heritage Center and made a stop at the Welcome Mart at State Road 101, [Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee] Perry said.

            One of the troopers spotted the vehicle as it re-entered U.S. 89/91 and continued southbound.

            YouTube video: “Dash camera video released by the Utah Highway Patrol, of a fatal crash on Highway 89 / 91 in Wellsville, Utah” (:32), posted by KUTV2News, July 31, 2017

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

                          Approximate location of fatal crash…

              Approximate beginning of pursuit…

              Better map — showing route of pursuit southbound along U.S. Highway 89 / 91, near Wellsville, Utah, from approximate start to end.

              (Note: Dash Cam video compared to Google Street View.)

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Coyne Tibbets (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 1:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

            You're trying to hide the forest behind the trees. From the transcript, "He went head-on with a semi." Gary's semi.

            Explain: What part of that event required a blood sample from Gray? With such urgency that a nurse who won't produce it must be arrested? Can you think of any reason other than an urgent desire to arrest Gray for DUI?

            Remember, Gray was hit by a fleeing suspect, who died and would unquestionably be legally responsible...unless there was some other "party" who might be responsible if Gray was not...and who might that be?

            I tell you, it reeks of cover-up.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

              Explain: What part of that event required a blood sample from Gray?

              The Logan City Police Department, assigned to investigate the fatal crash, requested assistance to obtain a blood sample from the surviving driver. This request is not out of the ordinary.

              With such urgency that a nurse who won't produce it must be arrested?

              (Now-former) Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff Payne, was dispatched to the University of Utah Hospital to provide the requested assistance to the Logan City Police. During the course of this assignment, (former-) Det Payne received instructions from his watch commander, (now-former) Salt Lake City Police Lieutenant James Tracy.

              (Former-) Det Payne understood his orders from (former-) Lt Tracy as—

              “I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow,” Payne says.

              (From report by Salt Lake Tribune of dialogue audible on body camera video.)

              In the Oct 10, 2017 Memorandum to Jeff Payne, “Re: Notice of Decision — Internal Affairs Case # C17-0062 Termination of Employment”, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown writes (p.13):

              [T]he first time you [former-Det Payne] divulged to [former-] Lt Tracy that you had spoken with Logan Police Department was after you arrested Ms Wubbels . . . Simply put, you inexcusable failed to provide Lt Tracy with critical information at the outset that might have helped him better understand and contextualize the situation.

              Watch Command instructed (former-) Det Payne, and Payne carried out his orders.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2017 @ 11:58pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

                “I either go away with blood in vials or body in tow,” Payne says.

                Audible at about the 9:30 timemark in this 30:01 video from (former-) SLCPD Detective Jeff Payne's body camera.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 5:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

                Watch Command instructed (former-) Det Payne…

                From (former-) SLCPD Det Jeff Payne's official police report, contained within the “PCRB Investigation Report” (p.5 in PDF):

                Lt Tracey (sic) . . . he was instructing me to arrest her. . . . Lt Tracey (sic) told me that . . . that I was to arrest her . . .

                Salt Lake officer who arrested nurse would like to apologize”, by Dan Rascon, KUTV, Sep 20, 2017

                "[Payne] believed at the time he was following a direct order," [his attorney Greg] Skordas said.

                Oct 10, 2017 Notice of Decision addressed to (former-) SLCPD Lieutenant James Tracy, on p.1:

                Specifically, it is alleged that, on July 26, 2017, while serving as Watch Commander, you [Lt. James Tracy] ordered Det. Payne to arrest Ms. Wubbels . . .

                Imperative orders.

                “Per Watch Command.”             (~12:45 mark)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:16pm

      Re: Two for the price of one

      … the police were insistent because…

      Utah officer told not to worry about blood sample, chief says”, by Dan Simon and Darran Simon, CNN, Sep 7, 2017

      At the hospital, [ (now-former) Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff] Payne relayed his difficulty in getting the blood sample to a Logan detective, who was not at the hospital, [Logan Police Chief Gary] Jensen said. According to Jensen, the detective then informed Payne the Logan department could get the blood through other means.

      "He didn't tell him you must cease and desist, he simply said 'don't worry about it, we'll go another way,'" Jensen told CNN. "I just don't believe (Payne's) actions were in the best interest of the patient, the nurses or law enforcement, quite frankly.

      "He could have just packed up and gone home," Jensen added.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 7:10pm

        Re: Re: Two for the price of one

        Detective’s body camera confirms that Logan police asked him to back off blood draw before nurse’s arrest”, by Luke Ramseth, Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 08, 2017

        “My investigator [tells Payne], ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we’ll go another route. No worries,’” Jensen told The Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday.

        Footage from Payne’s body cam paints a similar picture of his discussions with Logan police about the blood. . . . .

        YouTube video: “SLC police body cam footage shows officers discussing nurse confrontation, how to move forward” (3:37), posted by The Salt Lake Tribune, Sep 7, 2017.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 4:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

          If you watch the cam video, you can also hear some policemen complaining and trying to discourage the officer from doing what he did.

          I don't know the "civil remedies", but it appears that the other officers thought she wouldn't fare better in such a trial as long as she was only escorted to the car.

          The guy talking to her while she was in the car seemed to know they were in the wrong, given how he started the conversation. His arguments to her were more in the line of "we have had problems with this place before.", which he would know is an admission of them being frustrated and thus probably set a mitigating circumstance defence on the sanctions for his colleague.

          The use of intimidation from officers side is a known tactic even though it is often bordering on abuse. In this case they didn't have any leg to stand on, but some nurses would have budged and given the police what they wanted. Now, arresting her was pure stupidity, since it doesn't accomplish their goal, but threatening an arrest and several other actions was probably their plan all along.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2017 @ 10:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two for the price of one

            If you watch the cam video…

            There are, of course, multiple body camera videos. The PCRB Investigation Report (signed “9/9/17”) discusses this on pp. 10-13.

            The guy talking to her while she was in the car seemed to know they were in the wrong…

            I believe you're referring to (former-) SLCPD Lieutenant James Tracy.

            The use of intimidation… threatening an arrest and several other actions was probably their plan all along.

            From the Oct 10, 2017 Memorandum to James Tracy, “Notice of Decision - Internal Affairs Case # C17-0062 Demotion to Police Officer III”, on p.4:

            You [ (former-) Lieutenant James Tracy] then can be heard telling Det. Payne that the arrest was not warranted, and that the arrest was a ruse to scare her into allowing Det. Payne to conduct the blood draw by stating, “I don't think this arrest is going to stick, I was hoping the threat would be enough, but she's so goddamned scared of her boss....”

            (Emphasis added.)

            (Former-) Lieutenant James Tracy's statement quoted in the Oct 10 Memorandum is audible between about timemarks 1:15 – 1:25 in the 3:37 video excerpt from (former-) Detective Payne's body camera posted to YouTube by the Salt Lake Tribune.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:46pm

    those pesky laws

    * false arrest and conspiracy to commit same
    * kidnapping and conspiracy to commit same
    * conspiracy to commit assault

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:33am

      Re: those pesky laws

      Those are state laws. There are also federal laws to consider.

      There's the conspiracy to violate a statutory right (HIPAA), which is a felony.

      Then there's the conspiracy to violate fourth amendment rights by forcing a blood draw without a warrant, also a felony.

      The arrest of the nurse is also a violation of her fourth amendment rights as well as her rights to due process, and since it was done while armed with a deadly weapon, the federal rule about possessing a firearm while committing a deadly crime comes into play, and makes what might normally be a misdemeanor into yet another felony.

      But the felons just get fired and that's the end of it, because the FBI is too busy making paranoid schizophrenics dreams come true to do the rest of their job.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:34am

        Re: Re: those pesky laws

        WTB edit button. That 'deadly crime' bit in the second to last paragraph should be violent crime.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          DannyB (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:11am

          Re: Re: Re: those pesky laws

          The problem isn't that the video went viral.

          The reason the video went viral is the actual problem. The video went viral for a reason. That reason is the problem.

          Ordinary interactions with the police do not lead to viral videos. When the police are fully justified in using force that does not lead to a viral video. It is misconduct that leads to viral videos. Misconduct that anyone can see for themselves.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:02am

        Re: Re: those pesky laws

        The police officer is not a covered entity under HIPAA, so no. For HIPPA to apply, you have to be a covered entity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:47pm

    "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling viral videos!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whoever, 17 Oct 2017 @ 4:53pm

    He's right.

    Without the publicity, he would still have his job. The city would have quietly settled with the nurse, including an NDA and the cover up would have been effective.

    The publicity forced the city and the police department to do something that it would not have otherwise done.

    And that's the real problem. Not this one cop, but the systematic cover up and acceptance of bad and illegal behaviour by cops.

    His boss, who went along with the arrest, yet should be expected to know better is still on the force. A demotion isn't enough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:38pm

      Re: He's right, but only because everyone else is wrong.

      That is, he *is* being singled out because of the publicity. Remember, he got away with it before, and his fellow officers *will* get away with it again.

      However, that means there's a lot more unpunished criminals wearing dark blue, not that he should has any right to be made whole for the reaction to his crimes.

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      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:39am

        Re: Re: He's right, but only because everyone else is wrong.

        There was a study done a while back that compared arrest rates -- not convictions or actual crimes, just arrests -- of police officers against the arrest rates for the general public.

        IIRC, with only one exception, the police arrest rate was within 1 person per 100,000 of the general public rate in every category except sexual assault, where it was a hair under three times the general public rate.

        Given the reluctance of police to violate the thin blue omerta, there are two possibilities to those numbers. Either police just consider sexual assault to be beyond the pale and don't look the other way on it -- meaning police are more criminal in general than the general public across the board -- or they are only slightly less crooked than the general public is, but have an ENORMOUS number of rapists in uniform.

        Either possibility is horrifying, and I'm honestly not sure which is worse.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:19pm

    didn't help the nurse was white

    probably safe to say he'd still be employed if it had been a black nurse

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 18 Oct 2017 @ 1:32am

      Re: didn't help the nurse was white

      Frankly, I don't see that. A nurse wears a uniform. While she probably wouldn't in court, she does in the dashcam video where the confrontation is shown.

      I'll readily admit that this is a totally silly criterion (though not more silly than looking at the skin color). But I don't think one without effect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 5:41am

      Re: didn't help the nurse was white

      So a cop was abusing a WHITE nurse?

      Some cops are bad, that is agreed. Some cops need to be fired, that is agreed.

      Can we also agree that cops don't go out of their way to discriminate against blacks? Some cops are just assholes and are bad and act bad. Doesn't matter if you are black or white, a bad cop is just a bad cop.

      Cops shoot white people (actually more than they shoot blacks, which is a fact.) Cops shoot black people.

      It isn't a race thing, it is a bad cop thing, agreed?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:14am

        Re: Re: didn't help the nurse was white

        Overall, in aggregate, sure the cops shoot white people more than black people.

        But *bad* cops may have a different statistical ratio than the aggregate.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:24am

          Re: Re: Re: didn't help the nurse was white

          I would think that if you compare how often cops come in contact with black people vs. white people, the percentages become normalized.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:34pm

    What job next?

    What you gonna do now for a job Jeff Payne? What this video also did was make your prospects of being a LEO somewhere else pretty dang unlikely. A good thing actually. Had there not been a video, a widely seen video, then the abusive behavior could of continued. Some people are just unfit to have that sort of power and authority, and Jeff was clearly on of them. One power-tipper gone, but many thousands still in positions of authority.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:42pm

      The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

      I'm pretty sure that he can still get a job as a police officer, even if the public recognizes him as the nurse-attacker. Many districts have laws against considering the past actions of an officer when considering rehiring him, and he can sue in those cases if he suspects he was turned away from an assignment on those grounds.

      Seriously. The benevolent police unions control the precincts like Capone controlled Chicago.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        afn29129 (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 10:35pm

        Re: The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

        Please say it isn't so. That makes about as much sense as saying a school district can't consider a prospective PE Coach's past sexual criminal deviancy and whether to hire or not.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:42am

          Re: Re: The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

          People talk about how powerful teacher unions are, but they are nothing compared to the power of police unions.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 1:52pm

          Re: Re: The chiefs can't stop him from returning to duty.

          Yes. That is exactly how much sense it makes.

          This is according to Jon Oliver's recent deep dive on police brutality. I've not looked up where he got the data, but it is in character with the unions.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:53pm

    New T-shirt

    GAFW!

    Get A Fucking Warrant!

    All Privacy Matters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 17 Oct 2017 @ 6:53pm

    This makes me think about the common reverse situation.

    A lot of criminals are caught because the police use tracking technology (e.g. cell-tower spoofers) that the criminal isn't aware of. And many of those technologies have not been reviewed by the courts to assure they are safe, reliable (don't produce false positives) and they don't violate the rights of the public.

    It doesn't fly suspects argue they didn't know about the new tech and wouldn't have been caught if it wasn't used (and thus it wasn't fair play.) Judges consistently would rather get the bad guy than protect the public from encroachments by the state.

    And the Department of Justice will has even lied to the courts in order to keep new field tech from review. This is how we know the DoJ is not a service to the public but an organized crime syndicate interested in its own profits and ends.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 7:48pm

      Re: This makes me think about the common reverse situation.

      Until this tech starts being used on the law enforcement community, it will continue to be exploited. The moment an insurance company manages to get their hands on one and starts tracking where cops actually are while on duty, and then using that to deny insurance claims, the whole spoofer tech thing will suddenly be rightly declared illegal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:45am

        Re: Re: This makes me think about the common reverse situation.

        It wouldn't even take an insurance company.

        The law enforcement exemptions to laws like wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping laws, as well as the computer fraud and abuse act, all rely on law enforcement having a warrant.

        If, as law enforcement keeps arguing, the use of those devices does NOT require a warrant, then use of one, even on a police department or other public officials, cannot be wiretapping, eavesdropping or unauthorized access of a computer.

        Just imagine the outrage the first time someone blogs about police conspiring to commit crimes, and has the spoofed cellphone tower call records to prove it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 9:13pm

    I think we found MyNameHere, guys!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 10:01pm

    ..unfairly punished argues attorney.. LMFAO!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 18 Oct 2017 @ 1:35am

      Re:

      Yeah, it's sort of like "only 5% of burglars are caught by law enforcement, so it's unfair to prosecute a caught burglar when 95% get away".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2017 @ 10:07pm

    Techdirt.. please let us know when Skordas gets Payne's house.. So I can LMFAO AGAIN!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 2:55am

    Unfortunately, he's partially right - if it weren't for the video, things like this do all to often get covered up and swept under the rug by [some] police and police departments. There's no way to know what might have happened had there not been a video.
    But that's no excuse to not hold him accountable now, just because there *is* a video.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 3:20am

    It's not fair the public saw how I really act!!!
    How will they keep believing we are the good guys when they can see for themselves how we really act!!

    Perhaps if he had considered how would this look to an average citizen before adding to the long list of stupid steps he took before putting the cherry on top of the cake.
    But then people often like to overlook bad cop behavior.
    I wonder if this would have had same outcome if the nursed had been a minority.
    I wonder if the public understands the reason they had a hardon to get an innocent victims blood work was so they could blame him for getting hit by their high speed chase target.

    Given how much these officers expected the nurse to just draw the blood, I wonder how many other cases of them violating the law are out there. Seems like it was a fairly standard demand & refusal resulted in an over the top response. Perhaps they broke the law starting a high speed chase that killed an innocent person....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 3:57am

    Payne is a dirty cop

    He should be prosecuted and sued. The best outcome would be for him to be left unemployed, bankrupt, homeless, and starving: it's what he deserves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 18 Oct 2017 @ 7:44am

      Re: Payne is a dirty cop

      The best outcome would be for him to be left unemployed, bankrupt, homeless, and starving: it's what he deserves.

      That's the U.S. approach. The European approach considers leaving someone bankrupt, homeless, and starving who has been trained in using lethal force and weapons may look like a good idea on paper but does not, in practice, reduce crime rates.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Christenson, 18 Oct 2017 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: Payne is a dirty cop -- What DOES he deserve?

        I agree: Payne is a dirty cop, and he *richly* deserves to be left unemployed and bankrupt. Vengeance is mine!

        But, per David, that's almost provably not the approach that minimizes crime.

        How would you suggest getting this loose cannon under control?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 4:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Payne is a dirty cop -- What DOES he deserve?

          How would you suggest getting this loose cannon under control?

          If Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill believes a Utah jury will convict, then put Jeff Payne on trial.

          Sentencing is still a long ways down the road.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me, 18 Oct 2017 @ 5:50am

    He did more than deprive someoneone of their liberty falsely

    He acted illegally with a warrant, it could be argued his jurisdiction is in question.
    He manhandled a medical worker in a medical facility and assaulted her in the process.
    He put her patients in a burn unit at risk by removing the nurse on duty.
    He injured LEO/EMS trust at a minimum

    He should be facing maximal criminal charges.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sigalrm (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 11:19am

      Re: He did more than deprive someoneone of their liberty falsely

      > He should be facing maximal criminal charges.

      Realistically speaking, a police office getting fired for their conduct is about as "Maximal" as it gets when there's no loss of life involved.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:17am

    The correct response is, "Tough fucking shit. Live by the sword, die by the sword."

    Police need to be not only held accountable, but also be held to a higher standard. This is because they are the <b>arbiters who enforce the laws</b>. Any breaches should, by necessity, be more harshly punished - simply becaise it is <i>an officer of the law</i> who is in breach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:23am

    Cell phone videos are ruining the law enforcement business

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 6:25am

    So why wasn't Lt. James Tracy fired too?

    Payne's supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, should be fired for his role as well. Payne may have made the arrest, but Tracy is the one spewing all the bogus legal arguments.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2017 @ 12:50pm

      Re: So why wasn't Lt. James Tracy fired too?

      At about 15:50 in the body cam video, Salt Lake City Police (former-) Lieutenant James Tracy tells hospital staff—

      There’s a very bad habit up here of your policy interfering with my law.

      But earlier in the video, just before 5:50, Alex Wubbels attempts to explain the blood draw policy to (former-) Detective Jeff Payne—

      This was something that you guys agreed to with this hospital.

      A Sep 5, 2017 Deseret News story, “Detective in nurse arrest video fired from job at Gold Cross”, by Pat Reavy, highlights this disagreement:

      The policies

      [E]ven though both sides had agreed to the policy, Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said it hadn't been officially changed within the police department's written internal policy.

      "The policy that was in place was a policy that was being looked at, and we had begun conversations with the U.," he said Tuesday [Sep 5, 2017]. "Our policy itself had not officially changed.

      "Why wasn’t it implemented at the same time that agreement was reached? That’s a big chunk of this investigation. . . . "

      Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's “FAQ on July 26th Police Incident at the University of Utah Medical Center” (undated):

      Within 24 hours of the July 26th incident . . . Days later, SLCPD’s blood draw policy was under review and an updated policy took effect on August 25th.

      But going back to Pat Reavy's Deseret News story—

      Neither Porter nor Salt Lake police knew when the agreement was made. But former Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank said Tuesday [Sep 5, 2017] that the policy of only drawing blood if an officer has a warrant, consent, or suspects the individual was impaired, was the policy when he was chief. Burbank declined to make any other comments regarding the incident.

      Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank left the department in June 2015 — over two years ago.

      How much of the July 26, 2017 incident was driven by (former-) Lieutenant James Tracy's insistence on his own policy — his own “law” ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SirWired, 18 Oct 2017 @ 8:41am

    Thinking back to that old Jim Carrey movie..

    From "Liar, Liar":

    [During a trial, where Jim Carrey plays a lawyer forced to tell the truth]
    JC: I object!
    Judge: On what grounds?
    JC: Because it's completely devastating to my case!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 18 Oct 2017 @ 10:08am

    Surprising lack of action

    So has the person who took the video been arrested for 'something' yet? Or will they just be harassed once the spotlight is off the police?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 11:00am

      Re: Surprising lack of action

      No doubt that will happen, another reason to submit videos anon

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2017 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Surprising lack of action

      So has the person who took the video been arrested for 'something' yet?

      The 19:22 video embedded in Cushing's article up top was posted to YouTube by the Deseret News on Aug 31, 2017, and embedded in Pat Reavy's story, “'Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong': Nurse shares police video of 'crazy' arrest by S.L. officer” (updated Sep 1, 2017).

      As that Deseret News story explains, the video is police body camera footage.

      Wubbels and her attorney, Karra Porter, want the public to hear her story and see the disturbing body camera video.

      On Thursday [Aug 31, 2017], Wubbels held a press conference to show the video . . .

      The July 26 incident was caught on the body cameras of Payne and another officer.

      The Salt Lake City Police officer whose body camera captured this footage has subsequently been identified as Salt Lake City Police Officer Denton Harper.

      See “District attorney asks FBI to also investigate controversial U. nurse arrest”, by Pat Reavy, Deseret News, Sep 7, 2017

      At one point during the recording, officer Denton Harper asks Payne why he doesn't just get a warrant for the blood. Payne replies that he doesn't have probable cause.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2017 @ 2:00am

    In some states you'd never see that footage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2017 @ 2:06pm

    Followup: James Tracy Appeal

    [ Note: This article is no longer on Techdirt's front page. ]


     

    The internal investigation reached the same conclusions…

    In the article up top, Cushing linked to a copy of the Oct 10, 2017 Memorandum from SLCPD Chief Mike Brown to (former-) SLCPD Lieutenant James Tracy, “Notice of Decision - Internal Affairs Case # C17-0062 Demotion to Police Officer III”. That memorandum, on its first page, states:

    Specifically, it is alleged that, on July 26, 2017, while serving as Watch Commander, you [Lt. James Tracy] ordered Det. Payne to arrest Ms. Wubbels . . .

    That memorandum goes on to state (p.12):

    [Y]ou [Lt. James Tracy] ordered Det. Payne to arrest Ms. Wubbels

    Yesterday, Oct 26, 2017, the Deseret News, in a story by Pat Reavy, “Salt Lake officer appeals demotion for arrest of University Hospital nurse”, reported—

    In his appeal, Tracy claims he never ordered Payne to arrest Wubbels, but rather told him to "consider arresting her."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2017 @ 2:11pm

      Re: Followup: James Tracy Appeal

      Yesterday, Oct 26, 2017…

      Darnit! Yesterday was Oct 25, 2017. And that's the date on Pat Reavy's Deseret News story from yesterday.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2017 @ 12:29pm

    Followup: Alex Wubbels Settlement

    At a press conference yesterday afternoon (Tue, Oct 31, 2017), Alex Wubbels and her attorney Karra Porter announced that they have settled with all “U.-related and Salt Lake City-related parties” regarding the July 26, 2017 incident.

    “ 'There will be no lawsuit': Nurse reaches settlement with Salt Lake, University of Utah” by Pat Reavy, KSL, Oct 31, 2017

    The University of Utah nurse at the center of a highly controversial arrest that was recorded on the officers' body cameras has reached a $500,000 settlement with all parties involved. . . .

    Utah nurse reaches $500,000 settlement in dispute over her arrest for blocking cop from drawing blood from patient”, by Pamela Manson, Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 31, 2017

    Wubbels said Tuesday she hopes the disciplinary measures are upheld. “I will be very disappointed if they aren’t,” she said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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