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Hospital Tells Cops to Stay Away from Nurses After Brutal Viral Video

The Salt Lake City Police Department is looking into the incident and University Hospital has announced a new policy after widespread outrage.

by Allie Conti
Sep 5 2017, 4:22pm

After footage of a cop violently arresting a nurse named Alex Wubbels went viral, the Salt Lake City Police Department has officially apologized and the Salt Lake County district attorney has expressed desire for a criminal investigation to the Salt Lake Tribune.

On July 26, a detective named Jeff Payne went to University Hospital to collect blood from the victim of a head-on collision. According to Utah state law, a patient has to either be in legal trouble or give consent to have a sample taken from them by police. After Wubbels insisted on protecting the rights of her unconscious patient and following protocol, Payne violently arrested her. The disturbing exchange—captured on the body cameras of Payne and another officer— made national headlines after Wubbels released it at a September 1 press conference.

Wubbels—who was an Olympic-level skier before becoming a nurse—said she held the press conference to further educate cops about the blood-sample policy and has not filed a lawsuit.

Prior to the news event, University Hospital had quietly changed its policy to prevent cops from having contact with nurses or entering patient-care areas, though the change was publicly announced on Monday. The day after the arrest footage went viral, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Police Chief Mike Brown called Wubbels to apologize, with the latter saying that the two officers involved were on administrative leave, and that Payne would face an internal affairs investigation. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill also said on Friday that a further probe would be necessary for "transparency and institutional accountability."

"I am sad at the rift this has caused between law enforcement and the nurses we work so closely with," Police Chief Brown said at a press conference alongside Mayor Biskupski on September 2. "I want to be clear, we take this very seriously."

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