Utah nurse arrested for doing her job, reaches $500,000 settlement
Alex Wubbels, the Utah nurse who was violently arrested in July for doing her job, has reached a $500,000 settlement with Salt Lake City and the university that runs the hospital where she works. Wubbels said at a Tuesday news conference that she will donate part of the settlement to a local nurses union and apportion some of it to fund legal help for others trying to obtain body camera footage from police.
“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,” Wubbels told reporters, per The Salt Lake Tribune. “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 that I went through.”
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Wubbels was arrested on July 26 at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Body cam footage showed Detective Jeff Payne manhandling the nurse after she refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient who had been involved in a car crash.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all,” Wubbels, the head nurse of the hospital’s burn unit, told the officer in the footage as she explained to him that a warrant or the patient’s consent would be required before blood could be drawn.
Refusing to take no for an answer, Payne kept insisting that she comply with his demand, eventually chasing the nurse down and handcuffing her as she sobbed and screamed for help.
Payne was fired from the Salt Lake City Police Department last month. His supervisor, James Tracy, was demoted for the role he played in the nurse’s arrest.
No charges were ever filed against Wubbels.
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On Tuesday, the nurse’s attorney, Karra Porter, said Wubbels would not be filing a lawsuit following the settlement with the city and the University of Utah.
Other than using part of the settlement to help others access police body camera clips, Wubbels said she planned to donate some of the $500,000 to the Utah Nurses Association and to support the national #EndNurseAbuse campaign.
Porter added that her law firm, Christensen & Jensen, is committed to providing free legal services to those needing to obtain body cam footage.
Though Wubbels’ case was settled, Porter said, “we’re hoping the discussion about body cameras continues.”