The police officer who illegally handcuffed and arrested a screaming nurse after she refused to take blood from an unconscious patient now wants to apologize to her personally, according to his attorney.
A shocking video that surfaced in August shows Utah nurse Alex Wubbels explaining to police officer Jeff Payne hospital policy stating that drawing a blood sample is not allowed without a warrant. Payne didn’t have a warrant, but lost his patience and arrested the nurse.
In the video, Wubbels can be seen being dragged from the hospital, pressed up against a wall and handcuffed, then taken to a police car while crying, “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!”
The video caused uproar on social media, leading to an internal investigation of the Salt Lake City detective, who was placed on leave. He was also fired from his second job as a part-time ambulance driver.
Payne now wants to meet with the nurse face to face.
“Jeff would love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here,” Payne’s attorney, Greg Skordas, told CBS affiliate KUTV. “If he could do this over he would do it over differently.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown have also apologized for the incident.
— Mayor J. Biskupski (@slcmayor) September 1, 2017
Skordas assured reporters that he is not covering up his client’s wrongdoings.
“There is no question that Jeff made a mistake,” Skordas told KUTV. “I can understand the public being upset—this was a troubling event.”
However, Skordas said both sides of the story need to be told.
“There is the side of this that Jeff would like to tell at some point and I think that will happen,” Skordas told KUTV.
“[Payne] believed at the time he was following a direct order,” he said.
According to the Associated Press, both criminal and internal affairs investigations are underway to review Payne’s actions.
Wubbles, who was not charged over the incident, has not filed a lawsuit as of writing on Sept. 20, but her attorneys say that could change in the future.
The FBI said on Sept. 8 that it is examining whether federal laws were violated by the Utah police detective.
Sandra Yi Barker, a spokeswoman at the FBI’s Salt Lake City field office, said agents already opened a review of the matter after videos of Payne forcefully arresting University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels emerged.
“We are there to support and assist them as needed, but we also have our own review going on at the same time,” Barker said.
Barker stressed that a “color of law” review, which examines whether law enforcement officials exceeded their authority, was a preliminary step that may or may not lead to a formal investigation.
“Color of law” violations include false arrest and the use of excessive force by police, according to the FBI’s website.