What led to a Salt Lake City police officer believe he could break the law and arrest University of Utah hospital nurse, Alex Wubbels?
Salt Lake City authorities have opened a probe after video showed a police officer arrest Utah nurse, Alex Wubbels after refusing to draw a blood sample from an unconscious man, a hospital contravention.
The video (see below) which was released on Thursday in relation to an incident on July 26 showed Wubbels being rushed by an officer, handcuffed and taken into custody at the University of Utah.
At the time, Wubbels sought to explain that blood couldn’t be taken without a warrant from an unconscious patient unless he or she consents or that individual has been arrested as stipulated in an agreement between the hospital and police.
Body camera footage showed the ensuing confrontation as Wubbels is confronted by Detective Jeff Payne after defying the officer’s demand to draw blood from a car accident victim who couldn’t give consent.
‘You can’t put me under arrest, this is not OK,’ Wubbels says while backpedaling before being led out of the hospital. ‘Somebody help me. Stop! You’re assaulting me, stop! Stop — I’ve done nothing wrong!’
In the background a hospital administrator could be heard saying, ‘you’re making a huge mistake’ as Payne places Wubbels under arrest.
Two hospital officials then try to intervene, but Payne warns them not to interfere or they will be arrested as well.
‘I’m leaving now — with her — anybody who wants to prevent that, that’s your option,’ Payne says. ‘So, take your hand off her, please.’
Payne then leads Wubbels to a waiting police vehicle as the woman claims the officer is hurting her.
Alex Wubbels video leads to Utah City police agreeing to take action. But what action?
Upon Wubbels and her legal team sharing the video, Salt Lake City police condemned the incident and the behavior of the arresting officer, announcing on Friday that Payne had been suspended from the blood draw program.
A report via the Salt Lake Tribune told of Payne later being placed on paid administrative leave, with Salt Lake Mayor Jackie Biskupski saying in a statement that the police department for Salt Lake County had agreed to investigate the city department.
The probe will look at Payne as well as the other officers involved in the arrest, according to the district attorney’s chief deputy.
Told Jeff Hall via the nydailynews, ‘It’s a criminal probe into the legality of the arrest and other conduct by law enforcement’.
Police said earlier that officers would receive further training for similar situations.
It was not immediately clear what charges could stem from the incident.
Of note at the time of Wubbel’s arrest, the woman was not charged.
‘She followed procedures and protocols in this matter and was acting in her patient’s best interest,’ according to a statement obtained by the nypost. ‘We have worked with our law enforcement partners on this issue to ensure an appropriate process for moving forward.’
Alex Wubbels University of Utah nurse still believes in the goodness of society- but at what price?
Wubbels, a former Olympic skier in the 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake City games, has not sued the department but said that she may.
Told the woman via the Deseret News, ‘I think right now, I believe in the goodness of society. I want to see people do the right thing first and I want to see this be a civil discourse. And if that’s not something that’s going to happen and there is refusal to acknowledge the need for growth and the need for re-education, then we will likely be forced to take that type of step. But people need to know that this is out there,’ she told the Deseret News.
‘The only job I have as a nurse is to keep my patients safe. A blood draw – it gets thrown around there like it’s some simple thing – but blood is your blood, it’s your property,’ Wubbels told the Today show.
Alex Wubbels video leads to social media outcry.
And then there were these sample comments on the web that caught this author’s attention. See what you think?
‘Good for her for her doing her job. Shame on the officer for trying to intimidate her into breaking the law.’
‘A perfect example of a power trip and ego taking over a profession and position of trust. Surely the other two goon officers should have stepped in or did they not have the capability to think on their own and dispute the notion of arrest.’
‘The officer said he was ordered by his boss to arrest her and that he was going to do what his boss ordered. I believe the officer has the duty not to follow an unlawful order.’
‘This is shocking, beyond horrific. What has the US become? The police are manic, paranoid, aggressive and terrorizing their own people.’
‘As citizens of a free society, we get to decide what powers we allow police officers to wield. Unfortunately, it’s past time we revisit this issue and start to seriously curtail what power we allow our police officers to hold.’
Alex Wubbels is brave and a terrific nurse. Way to stand up for #liberty
— David Stern (@dhstern) September 1, 2017
The arrest video of #AlexWubbels is absolutely nauseating. How does that guy still have a job???
— early aughts (@personwithvodka) September 1, 2017