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Posted: September 04, 2017

Utah nurse speaks out after her hospital arrest video went viral, DA requests FBI assistance 


By Douglas Barclay, Rare.us and Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK —

UPDATE 9/7 4:00 PM: KSTU reported that Salt Lake County District Attorney  Sim Gill has requested FBI assistance in the investigation into the arrest of University of Utah Hospital  nurse Alex Wubbels. 

“There continue to be issues that go beyond merely a criminal investigation, and, in an effort to address those concerns, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has formally asked for assistance from our Federal law enforcement partners to fully vet issues only they can investigate,” District Attorney Sim Gill said in a Thursday news release. “The decision for this was arrived over the Labor Day weekend and a formal letter requesting this assistance was sent out Sept. 6, 2017.

“The District Attorney’s office has received multiple inquires and communications concerning the incident. We ask the community and our citizens to be patient. We assure them that this issue is of the utmost concern for us and we are committed to assuring a thorough, fair gathering and review of evidence, facts and issues.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

A Utah nurse spoke out one week after a video went viral that showed her getting handcuffed while she tried to stop a police officer from taking blood from an unconscious patient. On Monday Alex Wubbels explained her version of the events, which occurred July 26.

“Any nurse, I think, would have done exactly what I did,” Wubbels told CNN.

According to Wubbels, Salt Lake City Police Department Detective Jeff Payne acted aggressively long before their viral encounter.

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“I was scared to death. I was obviously very frightened,” Wubbels said when asked what she was thinking during the arrest. 

Wubbels said she felt unsafe with Payne, saying she assessed the situation and determined that he was “aggressive from the beginning.” 

As for why she released the video more than a month after the incident, Wubbels told “Today” on  Monday it was a matter of processing an experience she said was traumatic.

“I needed that time to, sort of, give my emotions a chance to rest, if you will, so I can come out and be pragmatic and be effective in my communication,” she said. “I also feel pretty strongly that the conversations I’ve had with the Salt Lake City Police Department initially actually were progressive.”

Related: Police, mayor apologize to Utah nurse arrested for refusing to draw blood from unconscious patient

Wubbels said that she did not feel that university police and security had that same response and were not as positive. 

“Alright. This is what you need to see,” Wubbels said of posting the video. “If you’re not willing to see it then I’ll show it to you.”

Since the incident, Payne has been put on paid leave and the department said it would be making policy changes.

KUTV reported that Payne has also been fired from his role as a part time paramedic with Gold Cross Ambulance, effective immediately.

The president of the ambulance company said that, Payne “violated several company policies and left a poor image of the company,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

A second officer is also on paid leave as a result of the video, KUTV reported. The officer’s name has not been released.

Despite her arrest, Wubbels doesn’t think it’s up to her to say whether or not she agrees with Payne’s reprimand.

“I’m not here to police the police,”she said. “The police need to do that if they’re going to regain any kind of trust by me or the public.”


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