Of all the investigations and comments thus far, not one has stated the
officers acted in a reasonable and prudent manner. The physically aggressive
arrest of Ms Wubbels who was NOT breaking any laws is uncalled for. Such
conduct subjects the police department, and ultimately the taxpayer to
Payne and Tracy are rogue cops who, even when presented with evidence of legal
authority and hospital policy, tried to bully and coerce Nurse Wubbels to break
the law and submit to their bullying. She had the guts to stand up to them and
tell them "no", and she was assaulted and threatened with arrest as a
result. Payne and Tracy should be severely sanctioned for their actions.I know a lot of law enforcement personnel who properly follow the law
and procedure, and wouldn't dream of doing something like Payne and Tracy
did. They need to be sheltered and protected from the ramifications of what
Tracy and Payne did.At the very least, Tracy and Payne should be
dismissed from their positions, lose their law enforcement accreditation, and be
forever barred from holding another law enforcement or investigation position or
license. What really SHOULD happen is for them to be charged, arrested and
tried for assault. Hopefully that will happen -- we need to be protected from
actions and law enforcement personnel like them.
@MistyMountain:I reread my post to see what I said that make you think I
was saying "these are good officers.....". I just simply said we have
one side of the story for the most part and the officers should have their say
before an appropriate punishment is handed down.Maybe you have more facts
than I do (maybe more than the investigators) since you seem to think you know
about what is lawful and what is not.I just sense from the comments of the
officers on the video that they seem to think "they are the law" and if
others don't comply they need to be arrested / reprimanded. That is a
problem regardless of whether these two specific officers are disciplined /
trained--society needs to have a better understanding of when the police
"are the law" and need to be obeyed and when they are overstepping.
Did I not read somewhere in this story that the strong-arm tactic was used in
order to scare Nurse Wubbels and other staff into granting the illegal wish for
a blood draw? They didn't want the situation to escalate into what it
became. For the deceptive practice alone, I would think a substantial
suspension without pay is warranted. It violated department policy and
compromised public trust. Why do police officers deceive? The consequences are
too great to warrant unethical behavior. Once Tracy arrived, the situation was
far out of control and he tried to reel it in with more strong-arm conversation.
He failed and they failed. How sad for the hospital staff. The Chief had
better do something strong.
It should be known both officers have had disciplinary action against them in
the past. Some feel harsh punishment is deserved here, and others feel less is
deserved.Policing is a very stressful job for which I believe they
are not well compensated for. That said, it should be considered the
stress's that these officers are under and how easy frustration would set
in because of it, but that does not excuse any officer at any time to infrange
upon the rights of lawful citizens by arresting someone who did absolutely
nothing wrong.Take into consideration officers responding to the
report of theft and a possible gun being used at a local convenience store, when
they get there they stop two potential suspects as they walk out the door, and a
third keeps walking away from the officers with earbuds in his ears listening to
music who cant here the officers commands to stop. The person turns around
removes his phone from his pocket to turn off the music and gets gunned down by
the officer because he thought he had a gun but didnt. Innocent dead
citizen, cop goes free of charges. Cops should be disciplined in these matters
severely. You never know when you could encounter an edgy cop
@CH Cougar and @Lolly:When the hospital administrator (correctly)
quoted the law to Mr. Tracy, he was blown off. There was no, repeat no
legitimate reason that Tracy had to have that blood sample at that minute (if at
all) and Tracy ordered the nurse arrested for not complying with what appears to
be (and nobody has disagreed with this) an illegal order. It would have taken,
what, five minutes? to verify that the administrator was correct. I'm not
going to speculate what *was* Tracy and Payne's motivation to charge ahead
as they did, but they were most certainly neither protecting nor serving the
public. I am frightened by the comments which say, in effect, that
Tracy and Payne are good men who should get nothing more than a wrist slap.
Police misbehavior is rarely made public, particularly if the victims are
minorities. If they had promptly issued an apology to Wubbels, she would
probably have dismissed the incident and the public would have never known. If
this wasn't enough, then tell me, please: What would these men have to do
to convince you that they are unfit to serve?
what puzzles me is why they needed a blood sample from the truck driver in the
first place... He is the victim here... he was minding his own business when
that man who was fleeing from the police veered off the highway onto head on
traffic. I agree with most of the comments. What they did and how they acted was
inappropriate. Termination is in my opinion a bit harsh, because of the good he
also did. It by no means condones what happened. Suspension without pay is a
An article like this which is well written doesn't help anything. In this
article Alex is called Wubbels only, instead of her whole name. She has been
forgotten. She is the true Christian. If these officers are not wanting
retirement then why replace them? I believe fully trained officers are hard to
come by. Which brings the question, why push them out for one incident. Why
dredge up all of the negative things. I have my doubts that I would fire one of
my people unless it was a problem of dishonesty. I don't want to find
somebody new to train and I will bet the Chief feels the same way if these
officers want to continue. It will soon be forgotten and the lessons learned
will be positive. It is all unfortunate.
This incident is a huge black eye on the SLPD, and diminished one of the
department's most valuable assets - public trust.
These officers have violated constitutional rights and whenever constitutional
rights are violated there should be heavy penalties. They committed a crime and
should be charged.
So what many of us are wondering--why was this guy's blood so important?
The only thing that comes to mind is that in a trial, the defense (of the guy
running from police) might bring up that this truck driver COULD have been
impaired. Didn't the guy fleeing die? I am thinking this goes to a
longer power struggle / feud between law enforcement and hospital professionals.
Part of the conversation on video between Detective Tracy and Wubbels he states
something to the effect of "I am the law" which is obviously
problematic. Obviously Payne's comment about bringing homeless people to
the hospital and taking the other patients somewhere else is highly irregular
and indicates a high level of frustration on the police's side of the
equation.We have received all the facts from one side of the story--let
the police have their day for a response and then the appropriate punishment
should be handed down.
I don't condone the behavior of these officers in the pathetic incident
with the nurse, but I think the headline should acknowledge commendations as
well as discipline. I absolutely would not want to be in law
enforcement. There are too many issues that are beyond believable that officers
have to address. If we were doing a better job of raising our children and
upholding honest, moral values, police officers might have a reasonable chance.
The drug issue alone is staggering. Too many political issues are at stake for
officers too. That said, it is entirely unacceptable for law
enforcers to cross over lines of using force where it clearly shouldn't be
used. There are have too many innocent citizens killed or damaged by hasty
actions on the part of police officers. The nurse is clearly someone with a
strong sense of upholding right, but that doesn't mean she hasn't
suffered from a situation that should not have happened.
Interesting, so now assault is simply called "Being. Discourteous?" In
any other line of employment the past unwanted activities would have resulted in
the immediate dismissal of both officers. I doubt anyone working in an office
environment would dispute that. A good question to ask is: Why are the
behavioral standards in the department so low in comparison? You give a gun and
a badge to someone as well as the authority of law, but tolerate conduct no
other employer would allow. Unwanted advances, unwanted physical. touching,
sexually suggestive e-mails, writing your own rules in a fatal chase? Take away
the two officers pensions, fire them and discipline the officers that just stood
around watching the nurse being assaulted.
So,here's the outcome. They will both be allowed to retire and collect a
full taxpayer paid pension. Most other states and they'd be facing charges.
One "aw shucks" wipes out all the "attaboys."However, neither officer has a pattern of misconduct involving bullying of
abuse of powers when dealing with the public, so let's keep their prior
deeds, both good and bad out of the present case.However, in this
case alone, there appears to be sufficient evidence of serious misconduct that
both should be fired and their POST certifications revoked. If retirement
eligible, then let them retire, but neither should be on the streets in Utah
with the power of a badge ever again.And, I expect that these two
officers personally and probably we taxpayers as well will be forking over a
truckload of money to the nurse who courageously did her job right in the face
of overwhelming odds. She should be teaching an ethics class to our good cops!
A tip of my hat to Pat Reavey for also disclosing the letters of commendation.
In no way do they excuse the conduct with the nurse, However, they demonstrate a
level of objectivity not so common in journalism today.
And yet another article which glosses over just *why* it was so important to
Tracy that Payne get that blood... Payne told Wubbels, in words of one
syllable, that he was going to return to headquarters with either that blood or
a body--hers-- in tow. Note that, at no point, he asks Tracy the logical
question--if a warrant could be obtained to keep the hospital happy. The only reason I can think of is that they had already had that conversation
before Payne went to the hospital--and that Tracy said that they would have
trouble getting a warrant, and that Payne should force the issue. Getting that
blood was critically important...why? If there's another
reason--that is, an honorable reason-- then Mr. Tracy's lawyer should tell
us. There's almost certainly going to be a trial and the real reason is
going to come out. Right now the SLPD is trying to make Payne the fall guy for
letting his "emotions" get in the way--and, by extension, absolving
everybody above him from any guilt.It wasn't the stupid
burglary that cost Nixon the presidency. It was the coverup.
Like most people, it seems that these men have displayed a mix of good and bad
judgment over the years.
The LT "discipline" 20 years ago really has no bearing on the present
case.In any 20+ career it's hard to not have at least one
"write up" regardless of the field.The fact the Sgt was
disciplined is far more relevant, and recent. Without knowing all of the
details, it could have been assault from what the article says.
Disciplined? Please, Come on!