A nurse in Salt Lake City, Utah, was forcibly arrested for obeying hospital policy and refusing to allow a police detective to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
A police detective grabbed the frightened nurse and twisted her arm before handcuffing her at the University of Utah Hospital, because she cited policy not allowing him to draw blood from the unconscious patient.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do,”nurse Alex Wubbels sobbed just before her dramatic arrest.
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Video of her violent arrest was released by the Salt Lake Tribune
The Huffington Post reports:
In the above video that emerged this week, Alex Wubbels, the head nurse at the University of Utah Hospital’s burn unit, keeps her cool while Detective Jeff Payne insists that he be given permission to collect the blood sample of a patient ― despite not having a warrant.
The July 26 footage, filmed on Payne’s body camera, captures Wubbels explaining that “three things that allow us to [give blood samples] are if you have an electronic warrant, patient consent or patient under arrest, and neither of those things… the patient can’t consent. He told me repeatedly that he doesn’t have a warrant and the patient is not under arrest.”
“So, I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all,” she adds.
Wubbels appears professional throughout the exchange and has her supervisor on speakerphone.
You can hear the supervisor telling Payne that he’s making a “huge mistake” in threatening Wubbels and by claiming that she’s interfering with his police duties when she’s simply following protocol.
The supervisor barely finishes what he’s saying when Payne erupts and shouts “we’re done” repeatedly at Wubbels, subsequently chasing her down and handcuffing her.
A sobbing Wubbels’ screams “help me” and “you’re assaulting me” while being forcibly pushed out of the hospital and toward a police car.
As The Washington Post noted in its report Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court “has explicitly ruled that blood can only be drawn from drivers for probable cause, with a warrant.” Wubbels did everything correctly.
For Payne’s part, he was apparently explicitly told by his lieutenant to arrest Wubbels if she refused to let him take a sample of blood, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Since the horrifying arrest, Payne has been suspended from the department’s blood draw unit. He is still on active duty as an investigation is conducted.
Wubbels has not been criminally charged, but she said in a news conference on Thursday, accompanied by her lawyer Karra Porter, that she is not ruling out legal action.