A Salt Lake City police detective was fired and his supervisor demoted Tuesday for their roles in the arrest of a nurse who was manhandled and shoved screaming into a squad car as she tried to protect the legal rights of an unconscious patient.
Detective Jeff Payne was fired and James Tracy, his watch commander, was demoted two ranks from lieutenant to officer after an internal review by the Salt Lake City Police Department found their actions toward the nurse violated department policy and undermined public trust.
…Wubbels and her attorney Karra Porter say they went public with the footage of the arrest because they believed police were not taking the matter seriously enough. Porter told the Tribune on Tuesday that she was pleased that Payne had been fired, and said she had not formed an opinion about Tracy’s discipline.
“Chief Brown took significant steps, and seems to understand the importance of regaining public trust,” Porter wrote in a tweet. “But further discussions are needed.”
…Wubbels told reporters she was grateful her arrest was recorded.
“I think I owe it to the body camera footage,” she said. “Without that, my story never would have had the impact it has had.”
Although it seems obvious that the police Chief responded to the bad PR, rather than the bad behavior of his subordinates, any time a police officer faces negative consequences for abusing the public trust and the power of his or her badge it is a small step forward.