One of the key things about my campaign is the need for criminal justice reform, and the events that transpired at University Hospital on July 26th highlight exactly why this is part of what I have chosen as a priority.
I am deeply disturbed by the actions of Detective Payne, as well as the other officers who stood by and did nothing to stop this trample of the law. We are seeing more and more incidents like these as cameras come on just about every phone and police have begun to wear body cameras.
There must be a change in the way officers are trained and how they handle situations. This situation could have been handled peacefully had the Detective simply listened to what the nurse, hospital administrators, and other staff were informing him of.
The commentary he made on camera of bringing in less desirable patients to the University Hospital, while bring compliant individuals to other medical centers, was unprofessional and unbecoming a peace officer.
I call on the Salt Lake Police Department to cease the pay while Detective Payne is on administrative leave. There is enough evidence present to show that he does not warrant pay while he is being investigated. The taxpayers should not be paying him to sit around while he is being investigated for criminal conduct.
I would hope that Detective Payne would do the right thing and resign his position, as he has demonstrated he no longer has the ability to protect and serve the people of Salt Lake. He has let authority go to his head, and has chosen to abuse this authority.
We need to begin reviewing the initial training peace officers receive and the ongoing education and training that should be required to ensure officer uphold the laws. Further, the legislatures need to evaluate the laws they are asking peace officers to keep and find where there is unneeded interactions, where life, liberty, and property is not harmed.
I hope the people of Utah will stand with me and call for justice to be served in this incident. We must stand firm in our resolve that our civil liberties must be respected and that any government official that abuses their authority must face the full measure of the law.