Online and TV viewers this weekend were shocked by a video of the rough arrest of a Utah nurse simply following hospital procedure. But now, the nurse is speaking out following the release of the video and a lack of progress or redress from university police.
Alex Wubbels, the nurse in the video, spoke to CNN this morning to explain why the incident was only coming to light now, despite the incident taking place on July 25, and what has transpired since her unjustifiable arrest.
“One of the reasons we went forward is we made sure that the body cam was available. We wanted to see what it was that was on there,” she said to CNN. However, Wubbels hasn’t been satisfied with the reaction she has gotten from the campus police. “When I brought it up, [the university police] continued to defend their officers,” she said, despite meeting with officials for nearly an hour. “And I just didn’t feel like that was appropriate.”
As a result, the nurse and has hired an attorney and plans to sue should the university police continue to be uncooperative in spite of the now-widely shared video. “I think we’re going to give everyone involved an opportunity to do the right thing without having to be dragged into court to do it,” says Wubbels’ attorney, Karra Porter.
But for the moment, the nurse is focusing on making sure that both sides can come to an understanding about what things police officers are legally allowed to demand and what healthcare workers are permitted to provide to them. “As officers and health care workers, we have to work together on behalf of our citizens, our friends, the people we live with,” she says. “If we’re going to have that dialogue and teamwork and camaraderie, we have to come to the table and have appropriate dialogue.”
That spirit was missing on the side of Detective Jeff Payne, the detective seen manhandling the nurse. Wubbels says the officer was “was aggressive from the beginning” of the encounter. When she refused to allow the officers to draw blood from a patient involved in the car crash Payne and his team were investigating, the officer quickly approaches her, saying, “Oh, please. We’re done here. We’re done. We’re done.”
Payne then grabs Wubbels and forces her out the hospital doors, where she gets handcuffed and put in the police cruiser. The nurse protested the entire way, saying “I’ve done nothing wrong! I’ve done nothing wrong! Why is this happening? This is crazy!”
Contrary to what powers Payne thought police had in their interaction with the hospital and its staff, there was a memorandum signed by the university and Salt Lake City police over a year ago, according to Wubbels’ attorney. Wubbels ended up being released without charge after 20 minutes. Detective Payne and another officer have since been placed on administrative leave.