Utah Nurse Part II: A Cover Up?

The patient that Detective Jeff Payne was attempting to draw blood from was a reserve police officer from Rigby, Idaho. He was working his full-time job as a truck driver when a suspect fleeing from police crashed into his truck head on. The Rigby Police Department issued a statement thanking the Utah nurse for protecting their officer’s rights;

On July 26th of this year, one of our reserve officers, William Gray was the victim in a horrific accident in northern Utah while working his full-time job as a truck driver. The suspect in this incident was fleeing from Utah State Highway Patrol, when he crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head on with Gray’s truck, severely injuring Gray, and killing himself. Officer Gray was flown to the University of Utah’s burn unit where he remains under their watchful, professional, and competent care.
Within the first hours of Officer Gray being admitted into the burn unit, an incident occurred between hospital staff and an officer from an agency in Utah who was assisting with the investigation. The Rigby Police Department was not aware of this incident until August 31st, 2017. The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm, and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim. Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act.
The Rigby Police Department would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the involved agencies, and trusts that this unfortunate incident will be investigated thoroughly, and appropriate action will be taken.
It is important to remember that Officer Gray is the victim in this horrible event, and that at no time was he under any suspicion of wrongdoing. As he continues to heal, we would ask that his family be given privacy, respect, and prayers for continued recovery and peace.

Connect the Dots…

Salt Lake City police are chasing a suspect. During that police chase, the suspect crashes into a truck killing the suspect and hospitalizing the truck driver with serious injuries. A Salt Lake City police officer immediately responds to the hospital to take a blood sample from the truck driver. The officer knows there is no probable cause for a blood draw and doesn’t even try to obtain a warrant, the truck driver is not under suspicion of any crime, and yet the officer is so determined to take the truck driver’s blood that he violates the law and attempts to bully the hospital staff into helping him violate the truck driver’s rights.

Even worse, the officer feels entitled to do what he is doing with impunity. Even after the confrontation and assault, the officer is still talking to another officer about how they can get around the constitution and hospital staff to take blood samples from patients and threatens to only bring “transients” to the hospital from now on.

My guess is that the Salt Lake City police were concerned about civil or criminal liability on the part of the officers who were involved in the chase that resulted in the accident. In general, a 1983 action cannot be brought against officers by the subject of a car chase. There may be substantial liability, however, against the officers if they violate department policy and it results in the death or injury of a bystander (the truck driver). If they were to produce a blood sample that contained alcohol or drugs, they can then claim that the truck driver was at fault in the accident and avoid liability for the officers that were involved in the chase.

Another Isolated Incident…

Actually, it has been a few years since I’ve heard anyone claim that police misconduct is an “isolated incident.” This fallback of police apologists is now a thing of the past. The proliferation of citizens’ cell phone videos and now bodycams have dispelled the myth of the “bad apple” in an otherwise law abiding police department.

Police nationwide have a history of abusing other professionals and first responders that must work with them. Here are just a few from recent news:

Officer Todd Greaves in Hazelwood, Missouri, arrests a firefighter as he is giving first aid to an injured victim. The officer was demanding that the firefighter move their truck which was purposefully placed to block traffic for the firefighters and victims’ protection:

A police officer in Louisiana arrests a firefighter, again as he is giving first aid to a victim, and again because the officer wanted him to move his truck:

And again. A Chula Vista police officer arrests a firefighter as he is giving first aid because the officer wants him to move his truck:

Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Daniel Martin pulls over an ambulance that is transporting a patient because the ambulance did not yield to the police officer. Martin assaults and chokes the EMT as he arrests him on the side of the road with the patient still in the ambulance. Martin has not been fired from the department, and has gotten into trouble again for what appears to be a sexual harassment complaint by a fellow officer:

A San Diego (parking enforcement) police officer attacked EMT’s at a convenience store. Ironically, he claimed that it was justified because he heard one of the EMT’s refer to him as a Nazi. The EMT’s said they did not hear the insult and did not have contact with the officer before the officer attacked them:

An officer in St. Paul punches and then arrests a former paramedic who stopped to give first aid to a victim. The officer was reassigned but did not lose his job and was not charged.

FYI: I support our police officers, locally and nationwide. I do not support police officers who abuse their power, who attack civilians or other first responders, who lie under oath, who conspire with fellow officers, or who use their position to justify gratuitous and unnecessary violence.

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