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Utah policeman who manhandled and handcuffed hospital nurse has now been fired

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A US police officer who was filmed dragging away a screaming nurse who refused to take blood without consent has been fired, according to reports.

Video footage showing the nurse being arrested and dragged screaming out of a hospital for refusing to allow blood to be taken from an unconscious patient recently sent shockwaves around the globe.

Nurse Alex Wubbels was shown shouting for help as she was placed under arrest, manhandled out of the hospital doors and handcuffed, before being bundled into the back of a patrol car.

The incident at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July was captured on film by the hospital and a police body camera. It was subsequently posted on the YouTube website.

US media outlets reported this week that Jeff Payne, the Utah detective at the centre of the controversial incident, had now been fired.

Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown said in a disciplinary letter he was “deeply troubled” by Mr Payne’s conduct, the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Wednesday.

The police chief described the officer’s behaviour “inappropriate, unreasonable, unwarranted, discourteous, disrespectful”, and said it brought “significant disrepute” on the department.

In his letter to Mr Payne, he said: “In examining your conduct, I am deeply troubled by your lack of sound professional judgement and your discourteous, disrespectful and unwarranted behaviour, which unnecessarily escalated a situation that could and should have been resolved in a manner far different from the course of action you chose to pursue.”

Another officer who was in charge of Mr Payne on the day of the event at University Hospital has also been demoted in rank, according to the reports.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Mr Brown and the Utah Nurses Association were due to give an update to the media on a new protocol for interactions between police officers and hospital staff interactions.

Mr Payne is understood to be considering an appeal, on the grounds that the incident was blown out of proportion due to the fact that it was caught on camera and widely viewed on social media.

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