Police Officer Put on Leave for Arresting Nurse Who Refused to Draw Blood
The Salt Lake City Police placed on leave the police officer who illegally arrested a nurse because she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient, according to CNN.
The police also issued an apology to the nurse, who was following official guidelines established by the hospital and the police department more than a year ago.
Detective Jeff Payne demanded that University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels draw blood from a patient who arrived at the hospital’s burn unit in a coma following a car crash that killed another driver.
Wubbels refused because based on the policy, the hospital cannot draw blood unless police have a warrant, the patient is under arrest, or the patient gives consent.
“I was just trying to do it the right way,” Wubbels said. “If they need blood they need to go through the proper channels.”
After that, Payne said, “We’re done” and then drags her out of the emergency room, pushes her against a wall outside and forces her hand high up behind her back while putting on handcuffs.
“Please sir, you are hurting me,” Wubbels said as he put the handcuffs on her. “Then walk,” the officer ordered.
The nurse sat in the police car for 20 minutes before she was released without charges.
“There was both an unlawful assault and an unlawful arrest,” Karra Porter, Wubbels’ attorney, told Fox13.
“She was rightfully afraid of her well-being,” said Porter. “They refused to take any steps to protect her.”
Porter told CNN that the blood draw policy was agreed to over a year ago, but that “the officers here appeared to be unaware of” it.
“I was alarmed by what I saw in the video with our officer and Ms. (Wubbels),” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “I am sad at the rift this has caused between law enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with.”
The nurse and her lawyer released the body camera footage to the public after they received lukewarm responses from the city and the police department following the incident.
“I felt obligated to release it on behalf of anyone that’s ever gone through something like this” but didn’t have evidence or video, Wubbels told CNN. “Just being bullied by police for any particular reason in a health care setting.”
“This should never have happened and it should not happen again. We have to have a conversation and a discussion,” Wubbels added.