Police are no longer permitted to enter patient care areas or have direct contact with nurses at University of Utah hospital after an incident last week in which a nurse was assaulted and forcefully arrested for refusing to let officers violate hospital policy, the Washington Post reports.
Gordon Crabtree, the hospital’s interim chief executive, announced the news during a press conference on Monday, saying he was “deeply troubled” by the horrible series of events that befell burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels on July 26. Bodycam footage shows Wubbels politely declining to allow officers to collect blood from an unconscious patient who was badly burned in a head-on crash, insisting that the police first needed to procure a warrant, since taking blood from an unconscious patient without one not only violates hospital policy but the patient’s constitutional rights.
The officer in question, Detective Jeff Payne, becomes increasingly hostile and aggressive as the scene unfolds, eventually grabbing Wubbels, pinning her arms behind her back and pulling her out of the building as she screams.
Wubbels obtained a copy of the video and made it public last week.
“This will not happen again,” said Crabtree, applauding Wubbels for “putting her own safety at risk” to “protect the rights of patients.
Wubbels was not criminally charged, and has not expressed an opinion on how Payne should be punished. Appearing on the Today Show, Wubbels said:
“I’m not here to police the police. The police need to do that if they’re going to regain any kind of trust by me or the public.”
Payne and a second Salt Lake City police officer are currently on administrative leave.