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FBI now investigating police officer who arrested Utah nurse without cause — here’s why

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This week, the FBI says they have initiated an investigation into the actions of a Salt Lake City police detective, after video went viral of him arresting a Utah nurse on July 26th, after she refused to break the law.

Video of detective Jeff Payne arresting nurse Alex Wubbels for “refusing to give him a patient’s blood vial” caused major national uproar. Police body camera footage Body camera footage shows Wubbels — a former Olympic skier turned nurse — refusing to give the vial of blood because Payne didn’t meet the lawful requirements for obtaining it.

Wubbels repeatedly told Payne she couldn’t follow his orders because of constitutional law. Even after putting her supervisor on speaker phone with the detective, Payne became enraged and forcibly arrested the nurse without cause. Wubbels was shortly released from custody, never charged with a crime.

Wubbels released the police body cam footage to the public, and the consequences of Payne’s actions became very real. He was placed on administrative leave with the police department, and then was fired from his part-time job as a paramedic.

But Salt Lake County district attorney Sam Gill was starting the criminal investigation into Payne’s actions, which moved forward Thursday when Gill asked the FBI for assistance, and the FBI accepted the request.

FBI

What the FBI is investigating

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports the FBI will be investigating any potential breach in Wubbels’ civil rights writing:

“The FBI opened a civil rights/color of law review of the matter when we found out about it in the media.

Color of law crimes are acts done by officials — such as use of excessive force or police misconduct — that go beyond their lawful authority and willfully deprive a person of a right protected by the Constitution or federal law.”

In a letter this week, Gill wrote to the FBI’s Salt Lake City field office asking them “to examine and consider whether actions by Detective Payne, other police officers and law enforcement personnel and anyone else acting under the color of authority constitutes criminal conduct, criminal civil rights violations, or other violations of law.”

Payne has not yet been fired from his job at the SLT police department, but the department is at the moment conducting a full internal investigation, and is expected to make a ruling in the near future.

See the full original arrest here:

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