Union says city 'made pariahs' of officers in U. nurse arrest

Video release allows untrained public to make 'ill-informed judgments' of officers, letter says

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  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 9, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    re: "The Salt Lake Police Association on Monday broke its silence regarding the widely publicized arrest of a University Hospital nurse by two officers, saying the union is "extremely concerned and dismayed" at how the city has handled the investigation and release of information."

    The police union should be more concerned with how the officers handled the situation with nurse Alex Wubbels. The city's response was not the problem, the officers' actions were.

  • James B. Young SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 1:42 p.m.

    To be a LEO is an honor.

    Payne, egged on by his ill-informed Watch Commander, stained that honor.

    Fire them both.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 6:08 p.m.

    @Straydog - Layton, UT

    I'm less interested in the police officer's side of the story and more interested in what Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gills decides to do with him.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 6:39 p.m.

    @ Straydog:

    The main reason the hospital couldn't allow the blood draw was not HIPAA, but because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a warrantless blood draw without the patient's consent violates the "search and seizure" provision of the U.S. Constitution. Also, I'd be more suspicious of a hasty legal decision than one that the hospital took the time to think through. Ninety minutes is not very long to locate an attorney after hours and analyze a constitutional issue.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 29, 2017 8:27 a.m.

    In my opinion that officer had a shoot first mentality, that is what needs to change.

  • Straydog Layton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2017 11:28 p.m.

    I may be the only one who feels this way, but something doesn't quite add up for me with the accepted narrative - that the nurse was 100% in the right and the police 100% in the wrong.

    The 90 minute wait for one thing, only to have their request denied after all that time, not because of the law but because of hospital policy. I wrote medical software and enforced thee HIPAA privacy rules for the U of U Hospitals and Clinics. This was a judgement call, not a clear violation of HIPAA rules. Had that judgement call not taken 90 minutes, it night have ended differently.

    If it is found that the 90 minute delay was longer than it needed to be, then it points to someone stalling, and that may well amount to obstruction.

    Just saying we should listen to the police officer's side as well.

  • Art Vandelay II Newark, NJ
    Sept. 28, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    It is ironic that most of the comments here are clamoring for the "rule of law", and then, without so much as a law degree, the commenters then proceed to oversimplify what is actually a incredibly complex legal issue-- thus making themselves prosecutor, judge, and jury to the police officers, and inevitable making demands that are exactly opposite of the rule of law.

    The actions of the police officers were reprehensible, but not necessarily and as obviously illegal as many are claiming, and as many in the media are leading us to believe. This is why the officers still have their jobs. One only has to google this case and look at multiple articles to find many salient arguments for the positions of both the officers and the nurse.

  • Truth & Light Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2017 3:33 p.m.

    Very disappointing. Clearly distorting the truth to the point that they are no longer credible. I find this quite frightening.

  • RNfromNC Marion, NC
    Sept. 28, 2017 2:17 p.m.

    Stephen Hartney, the police union's president is only trying to keep his cronies out of trouble and to keep them on the job so they can continue to do the same old, same old junk. Me, along with the Nurse's of this country are supporting Alex Wubbels. She was doing her job according to the hospital policy. The PD also had agreed in 2016 to this policy. If they didn't pass this information on to their officers, it is the PD's fault and all officers should have in-services once a month or more often. Jeff Payne has been there long enough to KNOW THE POLICY, he just chose to go into his 'my way or the highway' agenda. That guy has anger issues. If the Union supports this guy and chooses to pat him on the wrist and say, "don't do it anymore", then there is going to be a huge outcry from this Nation's Nurses.

  • rubbergoose Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 28, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    Throwing a nurse into the paddy wagon for her doing her job is not exactly a situation where you can blame others having a problem with you! We live under rule of law. That behavior doesn't belong here.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    Sept. 27, 2017 9:20 p.m.

    @Say No to BO

    Two parts of that DOT regulation you cite caught my eye: the words "practicable", and "employer".

    "As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for alcohol for each of its surviving drivers..."

    To me, that looks like a regulation that puts the onus of testing on the company that the truck driver (RIP) was working for; the police are not his employer. That said, the police could have demanded a blood draw on a CDL driver or any other driver under implied consent -- if, and only if, they had probable cause, which they didn't.

    Now let's say that everyone is wrong, and DOT 49 CFR part 382.303 or some other law or reg does allow them to draw blood from a CDL driver no matter what... If that were the case, then here are the real questions: a). Why was a clause about that not written into the policy that Nurse Wubbles printed out? How was she supposed to know? b). If Payne knew that, then why didn't he cite that instead of lunging at her? c). Why are no lawyers bringing this up?

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 27, 2017 8:29 p.m.

    That letter causes me to be more concerned that ever with the latitude some think police officers have. Scary.

  • bemorefair Villanueva, NM
    Sept. 27, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    I find Mr. Hartney's comments disgusting. Look, everyone knows this was an extreme overreach of power and authority by SLC Police.

    Let me give Mr. Hartney something to think about. If you are surprised at any of the reaction you've seen so far from any elected or appointed official, just you wait for the anger to boil over should Payne and Tracy not get fired.

    I was driving alongside a SLC police office yesterday, and I couldn't help but look at him with a degree of mistrust. That alone should tell you why Payne and Tracy need to go. The fact is, public trust is on the line, and everyone is watching what happens next very, very closely.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 27, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    Nurse Alex Wubbels was arrested, placed in a police car, and then promptly charges were dropped and she was released.

    As soon as this incident went public Mayor Biskupski and Police Chief Brown immediately issued a public apology ....... for two reasons:

    #1 They wanted to stem the national outcry and public condemnation.
    #2 They wanted to avoid a lawsuit that Nurse Alex Wubbels would have won without question.

    The Salt Lake Police Association can moan and groan all they want but "it's all over but the shouting".

  • lrbinfrisco Frisco, TX
    Sept. 26, 2017 6:12 p.m.

    Several have commented that the officers were within the law to do what they did because of Utah law regarding commercial drivers. If this was May 2016, you all would have been absolutely correct. However SCOTUS made a clarification on the US Constitution, the supreme law of the land even in UT, back in June 2016 in a case called Birchfield vs North Dakota. SCOTUS ruled that the 4th Amendment prevented using implied consent to obtain blood, instead you have to get a warrant to get blood. So using the mathematical formula US Constitution > Utah law and US Constitution > LT Tracey's law, we see what they were trying to do was illegal and there was no justification for Wubbels arrest. You are not allowed to arrest someone for obeying the law. And ignorance of the law is no excuse and just plain stupid when you are being a jerk rubbing your false interpretation of the law in someone's face like the two officers who are suspended did. Maybe SLPD can hire Barney to make some training films to help learning challenged officers know the law.

  • Tamvanwarm Parma, ID
    Sept. 26, 2017 3:46 p.m.

    Quote: "The premature release of body cam footage is particularly demoralizing as it allows the public who have not trained as police officers to make what often amounts to biased and ill-informed judgments of the police," the letter states.

    Response: "The premature restraint of a nurse supervisor is particularly demoralizing as it allows the police officers who have not been trained as hospital employees to make what often amounts to biased and ill-informed judgments of healthcare professionals."

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 3:05 p.m.


  • Gruffi Gummi Logan, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 1:26 p.m.

    "Imagine if I were to tell you there is a large group of government employees, with generous salaries and ridiculously cushy retirement pensions covered by the taxpayer, who enjoy incredible job security and are rarely held accountable even for activities that would almost certainly earn the rest of us prison time. When there is proven misconduct, these government employees are merely reassigned and are rarely dismissed. The bill for any legal settlements concerning their errors? It, too, is covered by the taxpayers. Their unions are among the strongest in the country.

    No, I’m not talking about public-school teachers."

    by A. J. Delgado July 21, 2014, National Review, "It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police"

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 1:11 p.m.

    You are wrong about the guy driving "a non-CDL vehicle."

    Here is the truth from another DN article about the case: "On July 26, Gray, a truck driver and reserve member of the Rigby Police Department, was driving a semitrailer in Sardine Canyon near Wellsville when he was hit by a motorist who was fleeing police."

    The request for the blood draw came from the Cache County crash investigators. It is perfectly normal to make such a request, per federal law under DOT 49 CFR, part 382.303, which says: "As soon as practicable following an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle operating on a public road in commerce, each employer shall test for alcohol for each of its surviving drivers:
    (1) Who was performing safety-sensitive functions with respect to the vehicle, if the accident involved the loss of human life..."

    We've been led down the primrose path by this social media justice episode.

    This is more than a badge-heavy cop who gets his jollies making victims suffer through a blood draw.

  • BYU Forever Lehi, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 12:42 p.m.

    The police union clearly wants to hide unprofessional conduct.

    As I said before, if SLC Chief of Police had a shred of leadership in his bones, he would have fired these two officers immediately.

  • Mark8263 Wood Village, OR
    Sept. 26, 2017 11:04 a.m.

    If I remember correctly, the police were chasing a "bad" guy, which helped cause the accident, whom died at the scene, then innocent unsuspecting driver that he ran into, who happened to have a CDL, yet driving a non-CDL vehicle, which means CDL doesn't mean a thing, was knocked out cold, which means the hospital must protect his rights until he is revived and found fit to mentally answer questions about the chase which nearly ended his life, which the police were only there at the hospital to CYA the whole situation. Body cams were legally obtained a month later and released to the public, Nurse has same law of protection equal to being a Police or Fire person to mean that officers arrested a fellow officer doing her duty as instructed by State Hospital policy and according to Utah State law. It looks like two laws don't make it right. I will be following this case to the end.

  • Kaydell Layton, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 10:49 a.m.

    The president of the police union saying that civilians aren't trained.as police officers so we can't judge officers who are accused of wrong doing is a dangerous idea. We need civilian control over police forces so that we don't have a police state

  • TomTerrific Glen Allen, VA
    Sept. 26, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    It is important to understand the significance of the phrase "no reason whatsoever." It means that the Police Union considers an officer losing his temper and assaulting an innocent citizen to be perfectly acceptable and nothing unusual. People with opinions such as this are playing a pivotal role in the dismissal of abusive and irresponsible officers. As long as this core problem persists, we are all in danger.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    Sept. 26, 2017 10:05 a.m.

    "...later adding that release of the video also 'creates an explosive atmosphere for no reason whatsoever.'" Oh that's rich! Can they not see the irony there?

    "...it allows the public who have not trained as police officers to make what often amounts to biased and ill-informed judgments of the police," No, the video informs us quite well. If there is some legal nuances that we ill-informed civilians don't understand, then what are they?
    a). He had no warrant.
    b). The patient wasn't under arrest.
    c). The patient did not give consent, not even "implied", for lack of any probable cause.

    I'd say that's pretty straight-forward to most "ill-informed" civilians. Why didn't the officer understand that?

    This is yet another one of those things that give unions a bad name. The cat was out of the bag, so had City officials not done any damage control, as the union would have preferred, things would have been much worse. Yes, the union works for the cops, but the City works for the people, not the union. Get that straight.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:57 a.m.

    According to DOT FMCSA regulation 49 CFR, you have eight hours to collect a blood sample from a CDL driver after a fatal accident.

    Blue Devil is telling us there is no law governing here, but he's wrong. It is a federal law.

    But here in Utah laws don't apply.

    Remember the bobbing-and-weaving bus driver and how long it took to resolve that? Watch for trains, trucks and buses. Drivers have special rights in Utah.

    In this case, the truck driver, recently deceased, was innocent. But the law is clear that being at fault is not a consideration. Ambulance chasers and deep pockets make the blood draw all the more important.

  • AndrewJackson New Harmony, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:53 a.m.

    The video speaks for itself. No one else needed to do anything. Sorry Union, please call it as it was shown. Actions really do speak louder than words. Be careful you don't make things worse for the good officers.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:39 a.m.

    Of course they stick up for this officer who let a power trip go to his head. That is what the blue line union does, make pathetic excuses for behavior which should definitely disqualify someone from ever working in law enforcement again.

    I repeat, both the detective and the supervisor should never be able to work in law enforcement again.

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:31 a.m.

    My uncle was a county sherriff for decades, and his eldest son also was in law enforcememt as a UHP officer. As a youngster I had alot of questions for my uncle, especially regarding his service revolver, yes back then they didnt have glock 40mm's. One of our conversations that I remember was he told me that he only puts his hand on his service weapon as a last resort, that even pulling your weapon from its holster required a written report to justify it, in other words dont pull out your pistol unless you intend to use it, or you were subject to disciplinary action by the agency.

    The question I have is why has this philosophy gone away with our policing agencies, it appears officers have carch blanc to pull out their gun at anytime they deem it necessary. And just a matter of my own opinion I feel the number of police officer involved shootings have gone up and certainly the number of unarmed shooting deaths at the hands of a police officer has risen.

    There needs to be a level of training given to police officers to first deescalate a situation before resorting to lethal force, or the misuse of arresting authority of a innocent civilian in this case with nurse Wubbels.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    Without release of this video the victim, Nurse Alex Wubbels, would never have received an apology.

  • Gruffi Gummi Logan, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 9:05 a.m.

    "Union says city 'made pariahs' of officers in U. nurse arrest" "Video release allows untrained public to make 'ill-informed judgments' of officers, letter says"

    And by this short statement the police union has nullified the "few bad apples" narrative. The only imaginable "training" that would change my judgment of what I saw in the video would require being trained into disrespecting the law and the dignity of citizens.

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    A few years ago an unarmed 20 yr old was gunned down in the 7 eleven parking lot at 2000 so and state. The officer responded to a call of a possible robbery at gun point, when the officers got there the held up two suspects as they walked out the door, a third suspect walked out behind them with earbuds in his ears he walked west into the parking lot the whole time while a police officer followed with his gun drawn yelling at the man to stop, when the man turned around his hands went up in the air then he reached for his left pocket to take out his cell phone to turn off his music, the cop put three rounds in his chest - dead at the scene. No gun.

    The county DA and internal police investigation deemed it a justified shooting because the cop believed he had a gun and feared for his life, yet there was never a gun, they only went off of what a bystander said when they called and reported the incedent of a possible gun.

    So a young man lost his life at the hands of a south salt lake cop based off of a false report of a gun. Cops hear gun and immediately go into shoot mode.

    A cop is told they cant draw blood, so they go into arresting innocent civilian mode. The question Is why ?

  • Professor9 Pueblo, CO
    Sept. 26, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    Typical obfuscation. Target the PD for insufficient training. Yes, the union mouthpiece did not out and out defend the accused (how does one defend the indefensible?), but there was more than enough misdirection in the memo to see the goals here. Transparency is paramount in these situations and all the weekend lawyers out there can debate merits until they're blue in the face. It's all there in living color. The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is applicable and I remain utterly appalled at the lack of professionalism and requisite self control on display by those who are to "protect and to serve."

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 8:12 a.m.

    @Alonso Quixano

    " "if you operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your consent to alcohol testing"."

    Let's play along for a minute with what you are saying. You call it a statute, but I think you would find statutes in laws, not in a Drivers Handbook, but let's clear up your confusion.

    If what you say is true, there are two ways to take it.

    A. Anyone, anytime, at any place and under any circumstances can demand a blood test of a CDL. Of course that's not the case, but you said this is the beginning and end of the 'statute'. To quote you, "End of statement."

    B. If under lawful provisions, legal considerations including the 4th Amendment, following lawful policies and procedures, a blood test is requested by authorized agencies or persons, your consent to the test is implied.

    Of course option B is correct. I hope this helps you to understand that there was no attempt at a legal blood draw. The officers were dead wrong. The Department even admitted that policies were not followed. Officer Tracy admitted that he could not get a warrant in order to get a legal blood draw. I'm pretty sure that the stories say that's why he released the nurse.

  • neece Hyde Park, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    Well!??? Either you aren't looking at the same footage as I am or are a bit bias. True, Both police officers acted in an unprofessional manner. True, They mishandled and treated the nurse roughy. True, they should be sanctioned... However... I do not think they should be fired. One bad decision should not cause the loss of their and their families income. Suspension perhaps? I also think Nurse Wubbles had the right to release the video! It was her right, however again... perhaps the whole situation was mismanaged from the start. I am glad that protocols are being firmly in place. This needs to blow over and anger mended.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    Has the police union already forgotten how Det. Jeff Payne said he could retaliate against the hospital in his role as a Gold Cross paramedic. “I‘ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere.”?

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?

    It is hard to defend the indefensible.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 7:17 a.m.

    Police Unions should be outlawed. Their statements are so self serving that they have zero credibility.

    There is one glaring fact with this case.

    I haven't been a police officer for over 28 years and even I know that the Implied Consent didn't apply in this situation. There was none, commercial drivers license or not. Yep the law has changed a little since I was a cop, but implied consent would have never applied in this case.

    Bottom line, these two should be fired. The body camera footage leaves nothing to the imagination. Pure and simple the cop screwed up, big time. There is no question of that. The nurse was arrested improperly. They have made all cops look bad.

    You can say what you want about the SLC Police Admin and the Mayor. Both apparently are in over their heads. Hopefully Jackie will be a one term wonder and the next mayor does a house cleaning of the PD admin.

    Frankly, in all this hubbub, Mr. Gray has been turned into a forgotten man. He was nothing more than a victim in this case. My heart goes out to his family at his passing.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 26, 2017 7:07 a.m.

    Several people here are saying because the driver held a CDL, and was in an accident, that blood was to be drawn and no consent was needed. But the problem is section 1.3 of the CDL says nothing about the fact that blood could be demanded on demand without any charges of any wrong doing. It's a far stretch to read that text and make that quantum leap. 1.3 states the penalties for driving with a blood alcohol level about .04 percent, and what those consequences are.

    It does not say that if you are the victim of an accident, one that you had no part in causing, that you give up your rights. And no one, even the police, were accusing the driving of any wrong doing. At least that is the last I heard. Has the driver been charged with anything? Was he being accused or investigated for anything?

    1.3 does not give the police the right to demand blood on demand without cause. I have no idea how anyone read that into that section.

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    The Union is accusing the public as being untrained and blaming the "fake" news for ill-informing us??? Since the last Presidential Elections we have as a public learned that "Trumponian" speech is wrong. This mafia-style based organization is unconstitutional, demonstrated by this example of propaganda rhetoric intent on causing contention and division rather than redressing grievances of injustice and inequality. We the People have been falsely arrested on trumped up charges, victims of unwarranted searches and seizures. We the People are 1st hand witnesses to the corruption of police and government authority. Nazi Germany, as Dieter Uchtdorf, a 1st hand witness, told us last Saturday, began by hate speech that considered people as inferior. It divided and angered the Germans to the point where the rights and liberties of the German Jews, one of the targeted groups, where taken away, and they were "indefinitely" detained in Camps where they were re-educated, tortured and murdered by psychiatrists. It is you, the Union, who are ill-informed about history and untrained in speech etiquette.

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2017 6:58 a.m.

    The reality is the union is trying to save face with its members with their publicly realeased "outrage ".
    Where was their outrage when this all went down weeks ago?
    It is now after feedback from their officers that they "speak up".
    What does the union do to train officers? Do they tell the guys to learn their duty and act accordingly?

  • BobbyPaluga Austin, TX
    Sept. 26, 2017 6:54 a.m.

    Wrong, it was the thugery in the officer's actions that made them pariahs. Oh I forget, we live in the era of passing the buck, evading personal responsibility for our actions, so why shouldn't the police and their union try the same strategy? In the real world the two perpetrators would have been long gone based on the instances of misconduct before the latest incident. If this is what Police Unions consider professional conduct that explains a lot, police brutality, the murder of unarmed, coorperative citizens etc. it seems to me that the Union is upset to have some daylight exposing the bad behavior of its members when they have been so successful in keeping hidden away in Internal affairs.

  • Fred2098 Canada, 00
    Sept. 26, 2017 4:59 a.m.

    In 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States in Birchfield v. North Dakota held that both breath tests and blood tests constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment, concluding that requiring breath tests is constitutional without a search warrant, however, requiring more intrusive blood tests involving piercing the skin is not, as the goal of traffic safety can be obtained by less invasive means.[1] Specifically addressing implied consent laws, the court in the Birchfield opinion stated that while their "prior opinions have referred approvingly to the general concept of implied-consent laws" that "there must be a limit to the consequences to which motorists may be deemed to have consented by virtue of a decision to drive on public roads" and "that motorists could be deemed to have consented to only those conditions that are 'reasonable' in that they have a 'nexus' to the privilege of driving"

    So regardless of the circumstances, the consent to give a "blood sample" would not have been legal. The driver of the truck was the victim, therefore the blood sample would not meet the test for reasonable search. The Nurse was right to stand her ground, the Police Officer was wrong

  • Gregory American Fork, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 3:45 a.m.

    The union says judgements should be "based on the facts and not on emotion or public consternation." Without the public outcry this entire incident would likely have been swept under the rug and never seen the light of day. Thank goodness for 'public consternation.'

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2017 3:30 a.m.

    So let's be clear here. The police union would have preferred that this incident be swept under the rug, that Nurse Wubbels forgets about it and moves on, that the police department does nothing for over a month to extend to infinity, that body cams not be used or released, that police can abuse their authority and bully citizens with lies in order to get what they want (the blood draw), and when that is less effective, they can throw a nurse around, double cuff her, put her in a hot car, and after all that, the public is too uneducated to understand how this works?

    The police union makes themselves to look pretty uneducated about what police procedure and authority is and what rights of citizens are. Perhaps the union needs to get some training. They act like this policy and procedure, and rights were a new thing that started that day and they didn't know about them. Hmm. Criticize away guys. We can take it. But you are not helping the tarnished image that this image brought to light.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 11:01 p.m.

    Why does it take sooooooooo long to conduct an investigation into what happened? Geez, any business could figure this out in days and here we are two months later.

    Most cops do a very good job. These two guys blew it. Punish them and let's move on. We all learned something from this.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 10:27 p.m.

    The union has several good points. With the most significant issue is if the legal update training that would have identified the change in the implied consent law was not given to these two officers the city is fully to blame because of their "failure to train."

    It is the Administration's responsibility to train these officers, if they operated using outdated legal guildence of the city attorney, the administration is to blame. It is also to blame if the city made agreements and failed to follow its own chain of command in informing it officers about those agreement. The administration seems to be acting in a cowardly manner, and not accepting responsibility for its failure to lead.

    Lay off the officers. From what I've read, the city administration shares the majority of the blame. The mayor and chief are to busy trying to protect their own jobs.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 10:25 p.m.

    It's a union's job to defend its members, whether right or wrong. So not surprised by this comment.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 10:19 p.m.

    This police officer Payne is anEMT for an ambulance company and knows well the University of Utah Hospital’s blood draw procedures . No excuse for arresting the nurse and abusing her civil rights.

  • Nephiwon Crown Point Essex, NY
    Sept. 25, 2017 9:39 p.m.

    Common sense says you need a warrant to get someone's blood. A police officer should now this. He was simply over stepping his authority as some cops do. It goes to their heads quickly. The proof is the video. One bad apple makes them all look bad. When that's not the case.

  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 9:04 p.m.

    This is why we should limit police unions. Anybody can tell that these police officers should not be carrying weapons representing the citizens. We are responsible for this environment in which many unarmed people are shot by police each year. The response of the union is to circle the wagons, when their response should be that those officers are not representative and they should loose their jobs. When I consider that even my teenage son knows he might loose his job as a grocery store bagger if he doesn't smile and treat customers kindly, what in the world are these union officials thinking. I think the problem is worse than just these two officers.

  • Oh Really? HERRIMAN, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 8:48 p.m.

    Bad officers paint the whole profession with a bad brush. It is incidents like this -- the 1 in 100,000 -- that are the cause of much of the polarization in America today.

    I wish these officers well in the future, in another profession.

  • Gessthis Coatesville, PA
    Sept. 25, 2017 8:39 p.m.

    The police union crawls out from the shadows to illustrate exactly why we have overly aggressive, civil-rights violating officers still on the force. Now we know where the root of the problem is. Thanks for that!

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 8:15 p.m.

    The real victim here is public safety. Jackie was, once again, quick to throw the police under the bus.

    If I'm a SLCPD officer, I know she doesn't have my back. I am not going to walk into gunfire for her.

    While she "takes a knee," the guys on the street are taking their time getting to a scene because they want lots of officers as witnesses.

    Jackie may be 100% right here, but she is oh so wrong.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 8:04 p.m.

    Blood should have been drawn ASAP.

    This guy was a commercial driver operating a semi, involved in a fatal accident.

    The city needs to figure this out.

    The last person to make the call here is the nurse.

    Before I start getting hate mail here, I am NOT saying the cop did the right thing. I'm not saying the driver was guilty of anything. I'm just stating the facts about the situation.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:32 p.m.

    What is it with lawyers? Last week, Mr Diehl's lawyer told the Federal Court that regular layman would not understand the complexities of Mr Diehl's corruption case. This week, the Salt Lake Police tells us what we saw on video was too complex for us. Therefore, it blurs our understanding of the process. What? This is typical union response when one of their own is disciplined for bad behavior. I am a strong supporter of police, but I do not close my eyes to their mistake either. Is this case so bad they had to be fired? I don't think so. Corrective training seems to be in order. In addition, update all policies and make sure every single police officer had read and understood the policies and the consequences of not following them.

  • weightless skittles Hewitt, Texas
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    My son-in-law is a doctor. As he looked at the video, his comments were: the nurse was in a no-win situation. She was clearly seen talking to her supervisors, she is following hospital procedure, she knows she cannot violate policy or she could be fired, or worse lose her license to practice. She was nothing more than a spokesman for the hospital. If the police were so determined to get the sample, they should have arrested the hospital administrators at the top, or gone back and received a warrant. What they did was not professional or legal. This nurse has civil rights like everyone else. Be really honest and ask yourself, if you would have liked to have been this nurse or worse if it was your wife, or daughter, or mother treated in this manner. I am sure all of the posters here respect and support law enforcement but, mistakes happened in all professions including law enforcement. We need to quickly correct the mistakes when they happen so that the trust we want with our officers is always positive.

  • Lou Solverson Portland, OR
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:26 p.m.

    Why is the same police administration, inept in handling the situation at best, sinister in covering it up at worst, still empowered by the mayor to render a decision in this case?
    The union is right in questioning the City and Department's administrative intelligence and motive.

  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:12 p.m.

    ''Payne was sent to University Hospital to collect blood from a man injured in a fatal crash. But Wubbels — declined to tell Payne where the patient was or allow him to draw blood.'' Fatal Crash? Nothing more? DesNews headline ''No fatal crashes occurred over Pioneer Day weekend, UHP says By Ben Lockhart Published: July 27, 2015'' with this photo byline ''Police officers perform a show with their motorcycles during the Days of '47 KSL 5 Parade on Friday, July 24, 2015 in Salt Lake City.'' The photo listed this ''Salt Lake City Police Department
    In this July 26, 2017, frame grab ''. The purpose of a blood draw is for learing about alcohol or drugs in the blood, after a fatal crash. So one DesNews article says no fatal crash from about July 24 to 27th, and the photo frame is July 26. When, where, who, what, how and why was the fatal crash? DesNews. July 24, 2017, lists ''Murray man killed in Midvale motorcycle crash'' with a date of July 23, 2017. or Desnews July 25, 2017 2 killed, 12-year-old injured in head-on crash. '' Drugs can remain in the blood for 6 weeks. Is the Midvale crash what was referred to? Or some other?

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:12 p.m.

    I’m very supportive of our Police in most situations. I believe they have a very difficult job. However, in this case, the video is all the evidence needed to determine how pathetic the police officers behaved.

    Yes, the Union is doing it’s job and the officers deserve a fair hearing, but what jury will be persuaded to acquit the officers after simply hearing the law explained and watching the video. Trial should last about one hour. My prediction is this will be settled out of court.

    The fact that the city handled things poorly is no surprise given the incompetent individual who occupies the Mayor’s office.

    These officers have no one to blame but themselves.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:09 p.m.

    Hmmmmm. The union rep states that had the city's attorney provided training and information to the police on law and policy changes there likely would not have been a problem. I am going to try the same "ignorance-of-the-law" excuse the next time I am pulled over for speeding.

  • Alonso Quixano Aurora, CO
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:06 p.m.


    It is you are mistaken about the law. You should look up the statute. The handbook clearly states "if you operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your consent to alcohol testing". End of statement. There is no provision listed for 4th amendment rights to unreasonable search and seizure, since by signing for a CMV license and operating a CMV, you have waived that right, under Utah law. Furthermore, there is also no provision that says you have to be arrested for a blood draw. Whether that law would be considered valid by the Supreme Court is another matter, since the 4th amendment is a Federal provision that the Supreme Court has previously many times incorporated with application to the states.

  • Firstnursemilitia Andover, NJ
    Sept. 25, 2017 7:01 p.m.

    What type of training is needed to keep the officers from trampling the rights of people and acting like a thug? Shouldn’t they have had that idea BEFORE they joined the force? The perp and his union mouth piece would be laughable if they didn’t have the power they do. And every cop at SLCPD that have remained silent (now and in the past) over police brutality are culpable.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 6:22 p.m.

    I for one am weary of hearing over and over about this unfortunate incident at the hospital. It was handled poorly by an officer (who knows what kind of a week he had?) I feel in general the police and sheriff department do their best to keep us safe. I have personally known several officers who have put their lives at risk only to see us, the public, not support them in the job they do - way too often. That problem should have been aired once or twice - not daily. It made me sad to see the police trying to clean up the Rio Grande area, living daily a dangerous job, only to hand out citations (one criminal had 50 citations according to the news) that nothing could be done about because "the jails were full" - with actually over a hundred beds available. Let's get our act together.

  • willmslc87 Logan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 6:21 p.m.

    Heaven forbid someone make a "pariah" of sworn upholders of the constitution and protectors of individuals assaulting citizens and violating their constructional rights by allowing the public to see their lawless actions.

    The police union is showing their true colors. That they are more concerned with protecting their own no matter the cost than doing their sworn duty to serve and protect those who they work for.

    This is evidence that we have given our law enforcement too much power and privelege. That we have created a class of citizens above the law. It's time to hold them accountable to the law and the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 6:05 p.m.

    Union official is making important and valuable points. If there is discipline and the police officers go on trial, they are innocent until proven guilty no matter how egregious the charge. Trying a case in the public taints the jury pool and needlessly inflames the public. All the facts need to come out and clearly changes need to be made on training.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:56 p.m.

    I suppose the union is trying to ensure the officers, if tried in court, will be tried far, far away.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:55 p.m.

    Well I'll add my ill informed judgment and say what they did was dead wrong. It's police unions/whatevers trying to justify stuff like this that turns the public against law enforcement.

  • Alonso Quixano Aurora, CO
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:54 p.m.


    "What was the nurse supposed to do differently? She had paperwork to show the officer and was being told what to do by her supervisors. If in fact there is a section 1.3 from the Utah commercial driver's license handbook that would have given those officers what they needed to draw blood, why couldn't they produce the paperwork to show the nurse and supervisors (calmly)? "

    You may not be aware, but officers do not carry around the whole of either local, state, or Federal laws around to show people why they do what they do. So the whole "paperwork" thing with most police actions that require immediate attention often comes later. I first want you to know that I agree that the officer went way overboard, and should have explained thing better before proceeding with an arrest. But let's suppose that he treats her a little better, instead. What should the officer do in the end? If he is legally entitled to the patient access but she continues to deny him access? By my count he has been waiting (patiently) for over 10 minutes for her to turn over access to the patient.

  • TheJester American Fork, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:53 p.m.

    @Alonso Quixano

    You are mistaken in your reading of the law. The CDL only provides for the right to gather a blood sample if the CDL holder has been detained (read arrested) for a violation. That was not the case here as there was no accusation of impairment by the police department. A person does not give up their 4th amendment rights to unreasonable search and seizure simply because they have a CDL. The police would still have to provide probable cause.

    The nurse read this directly to Detective Payne, who was woefully ignorant of the law. Lt. Tracy was also ignorant of the law. Someone in a leadership position needs to know the law. Lt. Tracy obviously did not, and now they are both paying the price for their ignorance.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:53 p.m.

    Nah dude, the officers made did it to themselves. They'll receive a fair trial, unlike many victims of police abuse who didn't have the luxury of access to recordings of the incident.

  • Sportsfan123 Salt lake, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:45 p.m.

    I cant believe anyone would be ok with the behavior of the officers, put your wife your mother your family member in nurse Wubbles position and you would change your tune.

    Too often do officers literally get away with whatever they want because the public is afraid to speak out and do anything about.

    In this case the officer was not made aware of the change in policy regarding a blood draw. So what would an other respectable adult do? Hmmm, you call your superiors and confirm the change in policy to verify and validate the nurses claim - what is so hard about behaving like an adult. Instead these officers take it personal and get all worked up, so what do these officers do who cant control their emotions, they do what police officers do and use their authority as they see fit and arrest a innocent individual who had committed absolutely no crime.

    Police officers do far worse and get away with it even when taking the life of an unarmed citizen.

    This nurse' civil rights have been violated and not only should the officers be disciplined they should get sued and be made accountable for their dispicable conduct.

    Serve and protect, not violate and arrest our citizens.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:39 p.m.

    @Max-was-right - springville, UT

    Clearly by your statement you have not followed any of this our you would know the paper the nurse showed the officer was the agreed upon with SLPD and lawful documentation prohibiting her from allowing the blood draw. Office Payne was unaware of the statute and the change and lost control when his bullying did not work. What he should have done was just turn around and leave. The more interesting thing in all of this was the fact he was trying to get a blood draw from the victim of a crime and not the criminal. What really would be the reason for the draw in the first place?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:26 p.m.

    "The officers were doing what was/has always been done in this case. They were there to do a job, a job they had done many times before. If you think for one second that what they were doing was wrong, why haven't they been fired?"

    All the officers were doing was asking to have blood drawn from someone who was not under arrest, and was in no condition to give consent. It is not the governments prerogative to come into a hospital without warrant and demand that medical staff give them someone's blood.

    And why haven't they been fired.... are you saying the investigation is closed and this is now history?

    As to the other comment.... that just because we ask that police obey the law just like everyone else is expected to.... that somehow that demand makes one a police hater. Good grief... for a state filled with people who don't trust their elected officials, there seem to be some that would grant law enforcement immunity from the very laws they are employed to uphold.

    No one is saying all, or even a majority, or even a sizable amount of officers are bad. What they are saying is those that make mistakes... be held accountable just as we are.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:17 p.m.

    Union says city 'made pariahs' of officers in U. nurse arrest.

    Isn't that Rich? After having viewed a number of versions of the video including the extended version where the Lt. was attempting to browbeat the nurse as she sat crying in handcuffs in the police car. It's more than obvious to even a casual observer that the officers behavior and lack of professionalism is what made them 'Pariahs'.

    Now we shall see what discipline is recommended by the Police Chief.

  • Alonso Quixano Aurora, CO
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:09 p.m.

    IMPORTANTLY, A well-recognized exception to having a warrant is if loss of evidence is in an imminent danger of being destroyed, which in this circumstance, it could be. Laws also provide for an officer to arrest a person if they prevent the acquisition of evidence that is in danger of being destroyed.

    The supreme court ruling that is being bandied about by some media outlets as a reference to constitutional rights of consent is Missouri v. McNeely (2013), which states, " When officers in drunk-driving investigations can reasonably obtain a warrant before having a blood sample drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy of the search, the Fourth Amendment mandates that they do so."

    -HOWEVER, if you read the case further, the court clearly suggests that there will be legal exceptions to this rule “Circumstances may make obtaining a warrant impractical such that the alcohol’s dissipation will support an exigency..." --i.e., the court is saying that there may be cases where it is reasonable to to obtain blood without a warrant if there is a danger of not obtaining an accurate record.

    Thus Wubbels argument was legally wrong under both federal and state law.

  • SJ2 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:06 p.m.

    @Alonso Quixano

    "Despite how bad it looks, the only thing that the nurse has on her side legally is an agreement between the hospital and the police department with regard to blood draws of people given - however this is a "policy" agreement and is not legally binding."

    What was the nurse supposed to do differently? She had paperwork to show the officer and was being told what to do by her supervisors. If in fact there is a section 1.3 from the Utah commercial driver's license handbook that would have given those officers what they needed to draw blood, why couldn't they produce the paperwork to show the nurse and supervisors (calmly)? It seemed like he just exploded and attacked her, while she was calmly trying to do everything right.

    Regardless of the laws, the officer was way out of line in the way he treated her.

  • Max-was-right springville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 5:02 p.m.

    All of you cop haters are missing the point. The officers were doing what was/has always been done in this case. They were there to do a job, a job they had done many times before. If you think for one second that what they were doing was wrong, why haven't they been fired?

    Just because some over the top nurse decided she was going to play along and got arrested, doesn't make the cops in the wrong. If they were in the wrong they would have been fired that next day. This is on the leaders that make the rules, not the cops out there enforcing them on some over the top nurse!!!!

  • mountainlocal Brooklyn, NY
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:55 p.m.

    I was ready to respond with a huge rebuttal to the union president's statements. But after reading the entire article, I actually agree with him on some instances. He said he was not arguing over (or) even discussing the merits of the allegations being raised against the officers. So to his points...

    1) The city did handle this situation extremely poorly. Though, it was Mrs. Wubbles and her attorney that released the footage to the media. Not the city.

    2) I also agree that police need more training. I'm not sure what programs that were mention had been terminated. But the expense of training is far more cost effective than subsequent lawsuits, injury, and negative press.

    3) Is the case corrupted because of publicity? Perhaps. But this isn't the first time there has been an emotional and public outcry over a specific case and it won't be the last. Systems are in place to hopefully weed out elements of bias to produce justice. That is all we can and should hope for.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:50 p.m.

    You don't need training as a police officer to recognize cops making terrible judgments and abusing their authority.

  • Robb C Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    I understand why the union would stand up for the officers. That's their job. But how can they claim the video was released prematurely when it was first made available publicly not by the city, but by nurse Wubbels and her attorney? And not until Aug. 31st--more than a month after the incident?

    There's not much to be left up to interpretation by that video. Nurse Wubbels was explaining to the officer what her superiors were instructing her to do when he suddenly blew his stack. The comments made by city officials were in response to the public outcry and did no more than point out the obvious: even had an arrest been justified, the nurse was not being combative and there was no need to physically drag her from the building.

    I don't want to see the officers fired. But I hope this video can be an example for all police officers to see the importance of maintaining their patience and not using their position to try and bully someone into compliance.

  • rubbergoose Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:48 p.m.

    Meckofahess..The officer certainly took care of a bad guy or bad nurse in this case. Anyone with that poor of judgement and emotional instability should not be in law enforcement or if they are, should not be allowed to have any weapons.

  • Alonso Quixano Aurora, CO
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:42 p.m.

    I too was outraged at the treatment of the nurse--- until I looked into the actual laws and supreme court cases! We can quibble whether the officers rough actions were the best way to handle the situation, but it actually appears on review of the law that the officer was within legal jurisdiction. Despite how bad it looks, the only thing that the nurse has on her side legally is an agreement between the hospital and the police department with regard to blood draws of people given - however this is a "policy" agreement and is not legally binding.

    It turns out that Section 1.3 from the Utah commercial driver’s license handbook says that people who drive a commercial vehicle, such as the person of interest in the blood draw, are "deemed to have given consent to alcohol testing"- therefore by driving the truck- he could actually be construed to have already given consent.


  • WJDad West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:30 p.m.

    From what I understood, there *was* no investigation until after the video was released. If the department couldn't start an investigation in 30 days then the Union is right to complain. Not about the publicity, but that publicity was needed to force the department to do what they should have been doing anyway.

    If the Police Union wants respect for the force then it should lead the charge to clean out the bad apples.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:29 p.m.

    Unions only exist to look out for the interests of their members. All their members, including the few rotten apples in the barrel. They do not care about the interests of the public, the employer or the taxpayers.

    No government employees should be allowed to be a member of a union.

    The police union blew whatever credibility they had by coming out to defend the indefensible.

    I support our 99% outstanding police officers, but detest the occasional bad cop and any union that defends them.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:12 p.m.

    So the union is saying that there is some context where the officer was justified in his actions.... that the timing of the release which half of the free world has seen... that this some how makes all the actions we all saw.... justifiable.

    Rather than say that a good officer made a mistake... they seek to justify or diminish what we all saw? And some wonder why trust between the public and law enforcement is now strained.

    This is why we have body cams on these guys.... so we can trust them... and they good officers make mistakes we all learn from them... and when bad officers act, they are held accountable.

    It's the only way good officers will not be painted with the same brush as bad ones are.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:11 p.m.

    I LOVE Police Officers. Toughest job in the world.

    These officers were an example of bad policing. They should be severely reprimanded if not fired.

    Now let's revert our attention back to the 99% of GOOD policing.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:08 p.m.

    I agree with the union. Biskupski is awful. She is always playing for the cameras.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:06 p.m.

    How refreshing to hear another perspective on this over-sensationalized episode that was handled in such an amateurish way by the city. The premature release of the video was clearly mishandled and is patently unfair to anyone serving in the capacity of a law enforcement officer. Clearly, this whole episode could have been handled in a less emotional and public way with appropriate counseling or re-training given to the officers where mistakes were made. My thanks to the Police Union for standing up for fairness and balance in this matter. Hats off to our police officers that work to defend us from the bad guys out there!

  • Hockey Fan Miles City, MT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:04 p.m.


    My sentiments exactly. It's the old "blame-the-victim" routine. The police union should be apologizing to the public for the conduct of its members.

  • pearmaster Lehi, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 4:04 p.m.

    The Police Union hints at some very good points: If investigations had completed or some level of discipline had been taken in the month before the video was released, there would not be so much public furor. The officers deserve to be fired quickly because of their own actions, not because the department was embarrassed by doing nothing until video hit the national news.

  • rubbergoose Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 3:55 p.m.

    The officer deserved to be Tazed.

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 3:53 p.m.

    This accusation absolutely amazes me. Jeff Payne embarrassed himself, and the city had absolutely nothing to do with it. It's time for Jeff Payne to be fired and the Police Union to stop making excuses for his atrocious behavior.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 3:47 p.m.

    This response from the police union is one of the main problems with unions - especially in a discipline like police work. The conduct of the involved police officers is so far removed from responsible and proper behavior that the only shocking thing is how long it took the city to react and the unfolding of the cover up by the city and police department. When bad apples are not quickly disciplined and removed if needed, it reflects badly on the entire police force.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 25, 2017 3:42 p.m.

    The officers embarrassed themselves and the entire department. What kind of training does the public need to understand this? They saw a cop bully and drag a nurse, off her station, illegally. He detained her illegally while he was illegally trying to obtain a blood sample, violating the patient's constitutional rights. I think the untrained public understands the officers actions, and those of his supervisor, all too well.

  • IAlaw Council Bluffs, IA
    Sept. 25, 2017 3:34 p.m.

    If anybody made pariahs of those officers, it was the officers themselves.