Alex Wubbels, the Utah hospital nurse who was forcibly arrested for disobeying unconstitutional police orders, spoke to CNN’s “New Day” anchor Alisyn Camerota on Monday and told her side of the story that shook the nation.
Wubbels was arrested in July after she refused to provide blood samples of an unconscious motor vehicle accident victim to a Salt Lake City police officer.
Wubbels’ disturbing arrest: What happened?
Salt Lake City detective and police phlebotomist Jeff Payne was filmed during the July 26 incident both assaulting and arresting Wubbels after she refused to provide him with vials of blood drawn from the patient.
According to reports, Payne didn’t have a warrant to obtain the patient’s blood, the patient’s consent, or even probable cause to draw it.
Lacking the adherence to any of those guidelines, Payne was constitutionally barred from drawing or obtaining the blood samples.
When Wubbels refused to bend to the detective’s demands, he forcibly restrained her, placed her in handcuffs, and required her to sit in a hot police cruiser for 20 minutes, according to reports.
Wubbels was later released and was not charged with a crime.
Wubbels’ side of the story
Wubbels told Camerota that she was “scared to death” during the altercation, but stuck to her guns, saying that she would not allow a patient’s privacy to be abused.
Wubbels told Camerota that Payne did reveal why she was being arrested as she was being handcuffed and hauled off to the waiting police car.
“I can’t speak for Officer Payne,” Wubbels said, “but what I can say is I stood my ground. I stood what was right, which was to protect the patient. As a nurse — any nurse — would have done exactly what I did.”
Wubbels told Camerota that she was “scared to death” during the altercation.
“I was obviously very frightened, and I think since this has happened I’ve been able to sort of surmise that I feel betrayed,” she said. “I feel betrayed by the police officers, I feel betrayed by the university police and security.”
When Camerota asked Wubbels why she felt betrayed by hospital security, Wubbels revealed that she had called security preemptively, as she believed Payne to be hostile from the outset.
“I went down into the emergency room to get help, to have someone protect me, because I felt unsafe from Officer Payne from the beginning,” she admitted.
She noted that Payne was “aggressive” from the start.
“As a nurse, it’s my job to assess a situation,” Wubbels explained, “and my assessment skills led me to believe that Officer Payne was already agitated. He had already stormed off in disapproval when I had originally told him he couldn’t do [take the patient’s blood] up on the unit itself.”
Wubbels said that Payne was set off when she initially explained that he had no just cause to obtain the blood.
“Unless the patient was under arrest, I needed to have an electronic warrant,” she explained. “There was no family, and the patient could not consent for himself, and I [told him] ‘I’m sorry.’ “
Wubbels told Camerota that Payne fired back and said, “You’re not sorry,” and stormed off.
“This is not OK,” she concluded
— CNN (@CNN) September 4, 2017
Initially, Payne was only suspended from the Salt Lake City’s blood-drawing unit after the July incident, and was allowed to remain on active police duty.
However, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported on Friday that Payne and unnamed another officer were placed on administrative leave, pending a full investigation of the incident.
The footage became public Thursday during a news conference by Wubbels’ attorney, Karra Porter, who said no claim or lawsuit has been filed.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced that he’s explored the possibility of opening a criminal investigation into the incident.
Gill on Friday said, “On the face of the evidence, there is concern that is raised about this officer’s conduct. But the whole point of an investigation is to gather the information about this situation.”