The Salt Lake City Police Department is launching an investigation into an unlawful arrest that was made last month.
Body cam footage from the arrest was released today and shows Detective Jacob Payne arresting and dragging nurse Alex Wubbels after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
The patient was a truck driver who got injured in a crash after being hit by another driver who was fleeing the police. According to a written report, vials of the man’s blood were needed to determine whether or not he was driving under the influence.
The man wasn’t suspected of a crime, but since the suspect died in the crash, this was another way to prove his innocence.
It’s basic law that patients must give consent for their blood to be drawn and in criminal cases such as this one, police must obtain a warrant if there is probable cause–which there wasn’t. Detective Payne did not have the patient’s consent nor a warrant, so when Wubbels notified him of this, he got visibly upset and proceeded to assault her.
“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry, I feel a lot of things,” Wubbels tells reporters of the ordeal. “I am still confused. I’m a health care worker. The only job I have is to keep my patients safe.”
“A blood draw, it just gets thrown around like it’s some simple thing,” she said, “But your blood is your blood. That’s your property.”