Nurses have to deal with a lot of crap every single day, what with angry patients and angrier family members, not to mention the pressures of the job. But one Utah hospital head nurse has had to suffer more than that after being “roughly” arrested by a detective. Now, the nurse and her attorney have released the police body camera footage for everyone to see and people are outraged.
The video is quite long. It shows what happened between nurse Alexa Wubbels and Detective Jeff Payne last July. The latter came to the hospital to draw blood from a patient who was seriously injured but Wubbels wouldn’t let him.
In the video, you can see the nurse explain to Payne that she couldn’t allow him to draw blood “even though the department’s goal was to protect the patient.” The latter wasn’t the one being investigated but he did suffer “severe burns while on a drive after being hit head-on by a pickup truck driver fleeing police.”
The suspect, on the other hand, died in the crash. In the video, you can see Wubbels calling her supervisor to explain what was going on. The latter then told the detective over the phone that he was “making a mistake” especially because “he was threatening a nurse.”
That’s when the detective snapped. “We’re done here,” Payne is heard saying before grabbing the nurse and “pushing her outside through the hospital’s automatic doors.” Wubbels starts to scream and the hospital staff try to intervene to help her.
Now that the video has been released, people are shocked by what they see. Even the Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown has said that the footage is “very alarming.” This nurse was doing her job and protecting her patient and she was violently treated for it.
The detective has a good excuse for his actions. Karra Porter, his attorney, said that Payne “believed he was allowed to collect the patient’s blood under Utah’s ‘implied consent’ law.” This law, however, was changed a decade ago. This guy needs to brush up on his laws. Moreover, Payne should have known that in 2016, the Supreme Court “found warrantless blood tests illegal.”
Wubbels knows how important it is to protect patients’ property. “A blood draw, it just gets thrown around like it’s some simple thing,” Wubbles explained. “But your blood is your blood. That’s your property.”
11. Taking Legal Action?
Wubbels hasn’t yet decided whether she’s taking legal action or not. However, the nurse, together with her attorney, hasn't ruled out the idea either. The video would give this nurse more than enough leverage.
The nurse knows that talking civilly is more important in such a situation. “I want to see people do the right thing first and I want to see this be a civil discourse,” Wubbels explained. “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.”
The video has helped Salt Lake City’s mayor and the police chief see what one of their officers has done. Both the mayor and the police chief have since apologized to Wubbels. They also condemned the detective’s behavior.
The mayor said in a statement: “Like many of you, I watched the video of police officers interacting with University of Utah Medical Center nurse Alex Wubbels for the first time through the media late yesterday. What I saw is completely unacceptable to the values of my Administration and of the values of the Salt Lake City Police Department. I extend a personal apology to Ms. Wubbels for what she has been through for simply doing her job.”