Protesters call for firing of officer who arrested nurse for blood draw

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Salt Lake City - Nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested for refusing to take a blood draw for police. Image via YouTube 

The Salt Lake City Police Department has endured growing wave of public criticism after body camera footage was released showing one of its officers arrest a nurse when she refused to allow officers to draw a patient's blood.

The criticism continued Saturday night, as about 100 protesters shouted outside in the courtyard of the police department.

MORE: Screaming nurse arrested, dragged from hospital for refusing to draw blood

The protesters asked for the firing of Detective Jeff Payne who was shown on the video arresting University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26.

Those who gathered at a Utah Against Police Brutality rally also called for more transparency from government officials.

Protesters chanted, "Acts of police brutality, not in our community," and called for justice for Wubbels as they held signs declaring, "Hands off our nurses" and "Fire Detective Payne."

Payne and another officer were placed on administrative leave following the incident. 

According to the Deseret News, the incident started after a truck driver was severely burned in a head-on crash with a vehicle that was running from police. The driver of the fleeing vehicle was killed.

The truck driver was comatose and sedated when he arrived at the hospital.

Payne was sent to the hospital by a different police agency and told to get the vials of blood. But, as Wubbels points out in the video, the driver was not a suspect, didn't face any criminal charges, was unconscious and couldn't give consent, and since the officer didn't have a warrant - Wubbels would not allow him to draw blood.

In the video, Wubbels is on the phone with supervisors as she talks to the police officer. She explains that she's doing what her bosses told her and even read from the hospital policy for blood draws.

Similarly, Payne is insisting that he's doing what he's told to do by his boss.

After threatening the nurse multiple times with arrest, he finally followed through after a supervisor on the phone told him he was "making a huge mistake". He grabbed for her phone, she pulled it away and he then followed her through the lobby of the hospital and handcuffed her outside.

You could hear the shock her voice from the police body camera video.

"This is crazy. This is crazy. Why is he so angry?"

The nurse was nearly in tears as she was led away in handcuffs by Payne.

"Stop! I've done nothing wrong!" She cried out as she was cuffed. She called the arrest unnecessary.

She was later released from the handcuffs and no charges have been filed.

The chief of police in Salt Lake City called the video "very alarming", according to the Deseret News.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.