Last Thursday, a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City released police bodycam footage of her rough arrest by a Salt Lake City police officer after she correctly refused to allow blood to be drawn without a warrant from an unconscious truck driver burned in a crash involving a police car and a fleeing suspect. On Monday, the University of Utah Hospital said it would never allow anything like the July 26 incident to happen again.
At a news conference, interim hospital CEO Gordon Crabtree said he was "deeply troubled" by the incident and praised the nurse, Alex Wubbels, for "putting her own safety at risk" to "protect the rights of patients." Margaret Pearce, chief of nursing, said new rules in place since mid-August barred police officers from entering patient-care areas like the burn unit and emergency room, and prohibited law enforcement from interacting directly with nurses, making police go through "house supervisors" when they wanted something. The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, is on administrative leave and there are internal and criminal investigations of the incident underway.
Wubbels spoke with NBC's Today and CNN on Monday, explaining that she released the video because she wanted the Salt Lake City police to make changes and also the university and its security unit. "I went down into the emergency department to get help, to have someone protect me, because I felt unsafe from Officer Payne from the beginning," she told CNN. "As a nurse, it's my job to assess a situation, to assess a patient. And my assessment skills led me to believe Officer Payne was already agitated." Wubbel's lawyer, Karra Porter, told Today that her client isn't planning to sue the police force, so long as they make sure no more nurses are arrested for protecting their patients' rights. "Most people that this happens to don't have this kind of evidence," she said. You can learn more in the NBC News report below. Peter Weber