‘Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong’: A nurse shares police video of her arrest for protecting a patient’s rights.
A Salt Lake city hospital burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels could not believe what happened to her on the night of July 26th.
The arrest came after Wubbels tried to explain to the officer that she could not allow a blood draw on a patient unless the patient is under arrest, gave consent or with a warrant from a judge.
“If they needed blood, then they needed to go through to proper channels to take it,” she said in a press conference.
In the body camera video, Wubbels is seen on her phone with numerous supervisors telling them what was happening and confirming the hospitals policy. Officer Payne sounds impatient in the video and continues to threaten to arrest her.
She even printed a copy of the policy for blood draws that Salt Lake police agreed to over a year ago and showed it to the officer.
But officer Payne insisted he is just following orders.
“I’m doing what I’m being told by my boss, and I’m going to do what my boss says,”
Wubbels was released and no charges were ever filed against her.
Wubbels released this statement Friday afternoon, saying she had received calls from both Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Chief of Police Mike Brown.
“This morning, I received a call from the Mayor of Salt Lake City and the Chief of Police. They both offered me personal apologies, which I felt were sincere. I have accepted those apologies, and I look forward to working with both of them to help promote further civil dialogue and education. The common goal of all public service professionals should be to provide the best care to our fellow citizens.
The outpouring of support has been beyond what I could have imagined. Since the incident, the City has taken this matter seriously, and I believe that positive change will occur.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown held a news conference Friday to express their concerns and outrage
“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,” Mayor Biskupski said in a statement. “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.”
An Internal Affairs investigation is examining the actions of Detective Jeff Payne according to Mayor Biskupski.
Wubbels said she will consider a lawsuit if real changes are not made to improve the working relationships between law enforcement and medical providers. She said she hopes the videos will start a dialogue to help make those changes take place.
“If this could happen to me it could happen to anyone,” she said.
While many police officials across the country consider body cameras to be an invaluable asset Rockford city police and Winnebago county sheriff’s office trialed body cameras but claim they’re too cost prohibitive to operate.