Video Confirms That Police Told Officer to Back Off on Blood Draw Before Nurse’s Arrest
The footage from the body camera worn by Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne confirms that Logan city police told him to back off from drawing blood from an unconscious victim of a deadly car crash.
Payne handcuffed nurse Alex Wubbels at the University of Utah Hospital on July 26 after she refused to draw blood from a patient because Payne did not have a warrant and the patient had not consented.
Logan city police Chief Gary Jensen has asserted that his officers did not pressure Payne to get a blood sample. The body camera footage from Payne confirms the chief’s story, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
“My investigator [tells Payne], ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we’ll go another route. No worries,'” Jensen told the Tribune.
Payne placed Wubbels in his patrol car after handcuffing her. As she sat inside, body camera footage shows Lt. James Tracy telling Payne that they should ask Logan city police to seek a warrant for the blood sample.
“I’ve already talked to them a couple times,” Payne responds.
“Are they pissed [we can’t get the blood]?” Tracy asks.
“No,” Payne answers.
Logan city police Chief Jensen said that a detective from his department spoke to Payne before the nurse’s arrest, but no record exists of the call.
Jensen told the Tribune that he routinely took blood draws in these types of cases during his 25 years of work as a police officer.
The patient who was unconscious at the time of Wubbels’ arrest was identified as William Gray, 43. Gray was driving a truck when a small car escaping police swerved into his lane and crashed head on, triggering a large fiery explosion.
Gray is also a reserve police officer in Rigby, Idaho. His police department praised Wubbels’ heroic actions in standing up for Gray.
The man who drove the vehicle into Gray’s truck was identified as Marco Torres, 26. Torres died on the scene.
The Salt Lake City police department and the mayor’s office have both been facing intense outrage ever since footage of the incident was released. They quickly issued apologies afterward, but the incident has damaged their reputations.
“It hurts. We got a black eye,” said Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown. “We worked so hard for the past couple years through our training and outreach and everything we’ve done—to take this on the chin? We’ll make it better, but it hurts.”