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In this July 26, 2017, frame grab from video taken from a police body camera and provided by attorney Karra Porter, nurse Alex Wubbels is arrested by a Salt Lake City police officer at University Hospital in Salt Lake City. The Utah police department is making changes after the officer dragged Wubbels out of the hospital in handcuffs when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient. (Salt Lake City Police Department/Courtesy of Karra Porter via AP) (Associated Press)
By Associated Press September 1 at 5:48 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — The Latest on a nurse in Utah who was handcuffed by police over a blood draw (all times local):
A Utah prosecutor says he’s asked for a criminal investigation into a police officer who dragged a nurse from a hospital and arrested her for refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Friday that he was concerned when he saw police body-camera footage of the officer arresting nurse Alex Wubbels in July.
Gill says he called Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown to request the investigation and that the chief agreed.
Gill says Brown will choose an outside police agency to investigate. He declined to say what charges the officer could face.
Police did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment or details about the criminal investigation.
A Utah nurse says she was scared to death and trying to find anything to hold on to when a police officer dragged her from a hospital and handcuffed her for refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient.
Alex Wubbels said in an interview Friday that the officer lost his temper on July 26 and “attacked me and assaulted me and dragged me out of my emergency department.”
She says she was screaming and “just trying to hold on to anything that was keeping me safe because no one else was keeping me safe.”
Wubbels says that before her arrest, the officer was agitated and angry as she explained that hospital policy prevented her from drawing the patient’s blood without a warrant, the patient being under arrest or with their consent.
A Utah hospital says it’s proud of the way their nurse handled a confrontation with a police officer, who has been slammed by fellow nurses as violent.
The University of Utah Health hospital said in a statement Friday that Alex Wubbels followed procedures and protocols in the July 26 incident.
Wubbels was threatened with arrest by Salt Lake City police Detective Jeff Payne when she refused to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious burn center patient.
National Nurses United called it a disgraceful and outrageous act of violence for the officer to drag the screaming nurse out of the hospital in handcuffs.
The union also cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2016, which affirms that a blood sample cannot be taken without patient consent or a warrant.
A Utah nurse who was handcuffed and dragged from her job after she refused to allow a blood draw on an unconscious patient says she’s accepting apologies from the Salt Lake City mayor and police chief.
Alex Wubbels said in a statement Friday that felt the personal apologies were sincere.
She also says she looks forward to working with them to promote civil dialogue and education.
She says they’re taking the matter seriously and she believes positive change will come out of it.
Wubbels says the outpouring of support she’s received since releasing dramatic video of the exchange was beyond what she could have imagined.
The mayor of Salt Lake City says the arrest of a nurse who told a police officer she couldn’t draw blood from an unconscious patient is completely unacceptable.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski says it’s a troubling setback to efforts to train officers to de-escalate situations rather than use force.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also weighed in Friday, a day after dramatic video surfaced of the exchange with nurse Alex Wubbels. He says in a tweet that the footage is disturbing and he trusts police will rectify the situation.
Police Chief Mike Brown says he’s alarmed and sad the incident caused a rift between police and nurses.
He says the department has taken steps to ensure it won’t happen again. The officer has been removed from a drawing blood but remains employed during an internal investigation.
Salt Lake City police have apologized after an officer handcuffed a hospital nurse for refusing a blood draw from an unconscious patient.
Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the agency initiated an internal investigation within hours of the July 26 encounter between Detective Jeff Payne and University Hospital burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels that was caught on the officer’s body camera.
Payne has been suspended from blood-draw duties but remains in his role as a detective in the investigations unit.
Judd says the assistant chief has apologized to the hospital and that the department is alarmed by what they saw in the video .
Judd said the department is working to investigate what went wrong and is seeking to repair the “unfortunate rift” it has caused.
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A Utah police officer’s body camera video shows a hospital nurse being handcuffed after refusing to draw blood on an unconscious patient.
The video taken at University Hospital in Salt Lake City shows nurse Alex Wubbels calmly explaining to Salt Lake detective Jeff Payne that she couldn’t draw blood on a patient who had been injured in a car accident. She told the officer a patient was required to give consent for a blood sample or be under arrest. Otherwise, she said police needed a warrant.
The dispute ended with Payne telling the nurse she was under arrest and physically moving her out of the hospital while she screamed.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2vvBdMR ) Wubbels was not charged. Police have started an internal investigation, but Payne remains on duty.
Decky wrote:Why did she expect the police officer to care about what was right or legal? It is the the US, the police are above the law. When they murder someone all they get is a paid holiday why did she think he would care about consent? As Oxy says she is lucky it didn't go another way, the police in the US essentially function as an occupying army not as a group that exists to protect or assist the public.
One Degree wrote:The cop was supposedly a specialist in this type of thing. I think he was more pissed at someone on the phone telling him what he should do, but the nurse was handy. He no doubt was out of line, but so is making this a national debate on anything. He got mad and overreacted, but some frustration was understandable.
One Degree wrote:The cop was supposedly a specialist in this type of thing. I think he was more pissed at someone on the phone telling him what he should do, but the nurse was handy. He no doubt was out of line, but so is making this a national debate on anything. He got mad and overreacted, but some frustration was understandable. He needed the blood, if the patient was conscious then he would have gotten it. The patient would have agreed or the cop would have arrested him and taken it anyway. His being unconscious turned a routine task into a real irritation. I would hazard a guess that it was probably routine for him to obtain blood samples from the unconscious even though technically he may not have been allowed to do so. This nurse did what she thought was right, but I doubt it was the norm the cop expected.
Stuff happens when tempers flare. Nothing more to see here.
One Degree wrote:@quetzalcoatl @Rich
You both say you vehemently disagree with me, even though I said he was wrong. :?: Your irrational emotional reaction is what is tearing this country apart. You are absolutely unwilling to see him as human.
Your posts show that neither of you have the emotional control that you demand of every single police officer in the US. What possesses you to demand from others what you could not do.
He was wrong, but only a self righteous hypocrite would say he should be fired or sent to prison. Should your bosses hold you to those standards? One mistake and your fired?
The hypocrisy today is hard to stomach.
He is not some imaginary group. He is a frail human just like you.
quetzalcoatl wrote:No. Just no.
He deserves to be fired, as an exemplar to all other officers. I don't deny him the right to be emotional - he would not be human without emotions. I do deny an officer of the law to react to his emotions in an irrational, unprofessional fashion. Yes, I'm 'emotional' about this issue, but then I'm not putting somebody in cuffs because I had a tough day. It is absolutely unacceptable in any civilized nation. Citizens who overlook this are the ones tearing the country apart. It is long since past time to start enforcing strong standards of behavior from police. With power comes responsibility.
You could see his fellow officers were clearly uncomfortable with his actions. Why didn't they act to prevent this outrageous behavior.
The cop reacted to orders from his lieutenant to place her under arrest. What appeared to be irrational was him simply carrying out orders.
The irony is the blood had already been drawn and neither of them knew it.
Drlee wrote:I love it. The "just following orders" defense. Goebbels was just following orders.
Of course if this is the case I sincerely hope that they fire both of them. Especially the lieutenant. And HIS boss. Until there are consequences for outrageous abuses of authority it will continue.
Meanwhile I hope the hospital bans all policemen without a warrant or not escorting a prisoner from the hospital.
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