In disturbing video captured by police body camera, a Utah nurse was handcuffed and taken into custody for refusing to draw blood from an unconsciousness patient in violation of state law.
According to the Deseret News, the incident occurred on July 26 when Salt Lake police detective Jeff Payne hustled nurse Alex Wubbels out of University Hospital’s Burn Unit over the protests of her fellow employees.
“This is crazy. This is crazy. Why is he so angry?” she is heard on body camera video as Payne cuffed her and dragged away from the patient.
According to Wubbels, Payne demanded she draw blood from a suspect brought to the hospital because he wanted the blood for an investigation and she refused because he needed a warrant and the patient was in no shape to give consent after being severely burned in a truck accident that left him near comatose.
“I’m doing what I’m being told by my boss, and I’m going to do what my boss says,” a clearly aggravated Payne told the nurse, saying she was allowed to take the blood via what is known as “implied consent.”
With Wubbels and her fellow staffers telling the officer that the law had changed and was no longer valid, Payne stated, “She’s going to jail.”
“Why?” he is asked.
“Interfering with a criminal investigation,” Payne replies.
On the verge of tears Wubbels can be heard saying she doesn’t feel safe as she is cuffed and removed, she then told Payne, “I don’t know why you’re being threatening.”
“Sir, you’re making a huge mistake right now,” a hospital staffer then told the cop, who replied, “I’m leaving now, with her.”
According to Wubbels, she was taken out to the police cruiser and held for over twenty minutes before she was finally released.
At a press conference on Thursday, Wubbels shared the video and explained, “I just feel betrayed, I feel angry. I feel a lot of things. And 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 there like it’s some simple thing. But blood is your blood. That’s your property. And when a patient comes in in a critical state, that blood is extremely important and I don’t take it lightly.”
According to a spokesperson for the Salt Lake Police Department, Chief Mike Brown has seen the video and called it “very alarming,” adding that Payne is still on active duty with the department, but has been suspended from the blood draw program and is the subject of an internal investigation.
Watch the video below via YouTube:
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