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 so the detective can listen.
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 shouts, “We’re done!” repeatedly at Wubbels. He then chases her down and handcuffs her.
A sobbing Wubbels’ screams “Help me!” and “You’re assaulting me!” while being 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 appeared to do everything correctly.
For Payne’s part, he was reportedly 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 was expected to remain on active duty as the investigation is conducted.
Wubbels has not been charged. She said in a news conference Thursday, accompanied by her lawyer Karra Porter, that she is not ruling out taking legal action.
“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry, I feel a lot of things,” Wubbels said during the conference. “And I’m still confused.”
The hospital stands by Wubbels, indicating that she did everything she was supposed to in a statement it gave to The New York Post.
“She followed procedures and protocols in this matter and was acting in her patient’s best interest,” the statement reads. “We have worked with our law enforcement partners on this issue to ensure an appropriate process for moving forward.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to The Salt Lake Tribune as Salt Lake City Tribune.
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