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Image of Attorney Kara Porter and Alex Wubbels
Attorney Kara Porter and Alex Wubbels; Image by Al Hartmann of The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com/

New developments have transpired regarding the detective that aggressively arrested Salt Lake City, Utah nurse, Alex Wubbels, for following the law and protecting her unconscious patient. For those who don’t know, after a video went viral showing Detective Jeff Payne aggressively arresting and dragging Wubbles from a hospital, Payne was “put on paid leave by the Salt Lake City Police Department.” Now, according to the Associated Press, Payne has “been fired from his part-time job as a paramedic” with Gold Cross Ambulance. Additionally, the hospital staff has “banned law enforcement officials from interacting directly with its nurses.

The decision to fire Payne from his paramedic job came after a video of Payne surfaced “in which he said he would retaliate against the nurse,” according to the Associated Press.

But what happened? Well, video footage was released by Utah police showing Payne handcuffing and arresting Wubbels “for refusing to obey a clearly unconstitutional order.” What kind of unconstitutional order did Wubbels refuse to obey? It turns out, she refused to “allow the officer to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant.”

Image of Jeff Payne Arresting Nurse Alex Wubbels
Jeff Payne Arresting Nurse Alex Wubbels; Image Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Police Department, http://www.slcpd.com/

As of June 2016, “the Supreme Court ruled that requiring drivers to submit to a blood test without a warrant was unconstitutional.” Due to the fact that Wubbels’ unconscious patient was not a suspect in a case, the police department “had no probable cause to obtain a warrant for his blood because he was not suspected of doing anything wrong.” Additionally, he wasn’t able to give consent to a blood draw because he was unconscious. Because Wubbels’ patient, who has been identified as William Gray, was protected by the Constitution, if she would have complied with Payne’s order, she would have opened her hospital up to a potential lawsuit.

So how is William Gray, the poor patient that Wubbels honorably protected from Payne, doing? Well, the Rigby Police Department, based in Idaho, has actually stepped forward to reveal that he’s “one of its reserve officers” and “thanked the “heroic” nurse who informed law enforcement that it was against hospital policy to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant.” A statement from the department read:

“The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim. Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act.”

Additionally, since the disturbing video footage went viral, the mayor of Salt Lake City, along with the police chief, has issued official apologies on behalf of Payne. For the time being, an internal investigation into the matter is underway, and Wubbels “has not been charged for defending the patient.

Sources:

Officer who arrested Utah nurse fired from paramedic job

Idaho police reveal patient defended by ‘heroic’ nurse was an officer

Video: Utah nurse handcuffed, arrested for refusing to obey blatantly unconstitutional police orders

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