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Nurse Gets Giant Payday After Being Wrongfully Arrested By Salt Lake City Detective

The Utah nurse, who was wrongly arrested has received an enormous settlement.

Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah nurse, who was arrested for not cooperating with a Salt Lake City Detective, has settled with Salt Lake City and the University of Utah.

Alex Wubbels settled for $500,000, in a case that drew national attention about police officers and use of force.

The settlement occurred about two months after Wubbels and her attorney, Karra Porter, released body-cam video of the incident, according to ABC News.

She said that she plans to use part of the money to fund legal assistance for victims who are trying to obtain body-cam video.

Wubbels, who works for the University of Utah Hospital, said that video is essential in cases like hers.

“We all deserve to know the truth, and the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage, and that’s what happened in my case,” she said.

“No matter how truthful I was in telling my story, it was nothing compared to what people saw and the visceral reaction people experienced when watching the footage of the experience I went through,” Wubbels said.

The incident occurred on July 26, when Wubbels told former Salt Lake City Detective Jeff Payne that hospital policy didn’t allow for a warrantless blood draw.

The unconscious patient was Reserve Rigby Police Officer Bill Gray, who was working his full-time job as a truck driver when he was injured.

Gray’s tractor-trailer was struck head-on by a fleeing vehicle that was being pursued by the Utah Highway Patrol.

His truck burst into flames, and Officer Gray was badly burned in the crash. He died on Sept. 25.

Hospital policy required either a patient’s consent, or a search warrant, for a blood draw. Det. Payne had neither.

Det. Payne was not properly trained by his department of a recent change in case law which required warrants for blood draws.

Lieutenant James Tracy ordered Det. Payne to arrest nurse Wubbles, and he did.

No charges were actually filed, and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown apologized to Wubbels shortly after the incident.

Following the incident, hospital policy was immediately changed to include a provision that prohibits law enforcement from dealing directly with nurses.

The Salt Lake City Police Department has also changed its blood draw policy to match the hospital’s policy, since the incident. And police immediately began trying to restore the relationship between nurses and police officers, according to NBC News.

Wubbels said that part of the settlement money would be given to a nurse’s union, to help start a campaign to stop physical and verbal abuse of nurses on the job.

Det. Payne was fired from his job as a police officer, after an internal investigation found that he violated departmental policies.

Det. Payne is appealing the Salt Lake City Police Department’s decision to fire him.

Lieutenant James Tracy, who was Det. Payne’s supervisor, was demoted to police officer for ordering an unlawful arrest.

Wubbels said that she was “relieved at the discipline.”

“The police have to police themselves. This is something I never would have expected to happen, but I’m also honored by the weight of it,” she said.

Do you think that $500,000 of taxpayer money is a fair amount for a wrongful arrest and brief detention? We’d like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.

GinnyReed - November Wed, 2017


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