Utah Nurse Reaches $500,000 Settlement After Arrest for Refusing Cop's Order to Draw Patient's Blood
Alex Wubbels has agreed to the payment to settle a dispute with Salt Lake City police.
The Utah nurse who appeared in a widely distributed video showing her refusal to take an unconscious victim's blood for waiting police officers has reached a cash settlement over her subsequent forceful arrest.
University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels agreed to a $500,000 payment. At a news conference in Salt Lake City, attorney Karra Porter said that the agreement with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah means "there will be no lawsuit."
Wubbels gained internet fame after video emerged of her barring a Salt Lake City police officer from drawing blood from an unconscious patient.
Wubbels said at the news conference that she will use a portion of the money to help people get body camera footage, at no cost, of incidents involving themselves, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
"We all deserve to know the truth and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage and that’s what happened in my case," Wubbels said. "No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience that I went through."
Det. Jeff Payne was fired from his department after widespread criticism arose from footage released of the July incident, when Wubbels, in accordance with the University of Utah medical center’s guidelines, declined to draw blood from the unconscious, seriously burned patient.
Also disciplined was Lt. James Tracy, who arrived after Payne had handcuffed Wubbels and forced her into a police cruiser. She was not charged and later released.
SLC Police Chief Mike Brown wrote Payne’s termination of employment notice.
Tracy was demoted to the rank of officer.
"Your lack of judgment and leadership in this matter is unacceptable, and as a result, I no longer believe that you can retain a leadership position in the department," Brown said.
Payne’s attorney said his client had served the department well and questioned whether his behavior warranted being fired.
The encounter unleashed a firestorm of protests from citizens, the city’s mayor and the district attorney.
The video showed Wubbels, a former Olympian, calmly explaining hospital protocol to Payne. She was prohibited from drawing blood from a patient who was not a suspect and was unable to sign a consent form.
Wubbels had her supervisor on her cell’s speaker phone while she talked with Payne. She was surrounded by hospital staff.
Nevertheless, Payne insisted she draw blood from the injured man to aid his investigation of the crash.
He threatened to arrest her, then grabbed her around the waist and dragged her outside as she screamed for help and members of the hospital staff tried to intervene, the video showed.
Tracy arrived and told a handcuffed Wubbels she should have done what Payne told her to do.
After the video became public in September, both cops were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
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