Utah Nurse Violently Arrested for Refusing Blood Draw Receives $500K
Salt Lake City has agreed to pay nurse Alex Wubbels a $500,000 settlement just two weeks after the detective who arrested her for refusing to allow a blood draw on her unconscious patient filed an appeal to get his job back, claiming had it not been for a camera he would still have a job.
Now Wubbels plans to use a portion of the settlement to help other police abuse victims obtain access to body cam footage.
Her attorney, Karra Porter, says her law firm, Christensen and Jensen, is committed to providing free services to people seeking to obtain the body cam footage from police who’ve abused them.
“Any person in the State of Utah who wishes to obtain body cam footage of an incident involving them will be able to do so, no charge to them. Our law firm, Christensen & Jensen, will provide any legal services necessary to accomplish that,” Porter said, according to Fox 13 Now.
“Thanks to Alex, there will be more transparency.”
“We’re hoping the discussion about body cameras continues,” Porter added.
Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne forcefully arrested Wubbels on July 26 when she refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient, citing hospital policy.
Body cam footage of the incident showed detective Payne manhandling the screaming nurse after she refused.
Since the victim was not responsible for the crash, Payne was presumably sent to retrieve blood with the hope of finding a substance in the victim’s system to relieve the Salt Lake City Police Department of liability from a lawsuit after pursuing the driver who caused the crash.
Wubbels’ patient was later identified as a reserve police officer from Idaho, who later died from his injuries.
The University of Utah Hospital has since barred police from interacting with nurses at the hospital.
Payne, who is also a part-time paramedic, threatened to punish the hospital as well as Wubbels by bringing “all the transients” to the hospital and taking the “good patients” elsewhere.
“I’ll bring them all the transients and take good patients elsewhere,” Payne says in the video.
Payne was fired from his job as a part-time paramedic as well as his job as detective after the video was released.
Even after receiving the settlement, nurse Wubbels says she hopes Payne does not get his job back after his appeal.
“I hope he remains off the force, because I don’t think he has the capacity to serve the public for good,” Wubbels said during an interview about the incident.
“This was something I never expected to happen but I’m also honored by the weight of it,” she said.
Porter says all over her clients’ goals have been met in the months following the incident after the video went viral around the world.
“When this whole venture started with Alex Wubbels, she had five goals. First, after this happened, she wanted changes to policy. Second, she wanted to see accountability from those who were involved in the incident. Third, she wanted to start a public discussion, particularly about the urgent need for body cameras. Fourth, I told Alex she should expect to be compensated. And fifth, she wanted to help others: other nurses and other people who have these types of situations happen to them,” Porter said.
“I can now announce that all five of these goals have been met.”
Watch the video of her arrest below.