The hospital nurse who was part of a controversial arrest after refusing to allow police officers to draw blood from a patient has reached a settlement agreement with the other parties involved to the tune of $500,000. The incident drew national attention after footage from one of the officer’s body cameras was released, showing the events that transpired.
As reported by ABC 15, Alex Wubbels, the University of Utah nurse, intends to use some of the funds to start an initiative to make video from police body cameras more accessible to residents of the state.
“I am not in the business of setting anyone up for failure,” said Wubbels. “I want us to be successful in moving forward. And I think this is a small step we can provide to enable that potential success if we are going to start asking the police departments to have body cameras.”
The nurse added that “it’s shocking” that all police forces don’t have body cameras.
“We all deserve to know the truth. And the truth comes when you see the actual raw footage,” said Wubbels. “And that’s what happened in my case. 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.”
The incident that thrust Wubbels into the spotlight occurred on July 26. Jeff Payne, a Salt Lake City detective, went to the University of Utah hospital to collect blood from a man who was injured in a crash that killed another driver.
Wubbels refused to allow the blood draw based on policy that was agreed upon by the hospital and police department.
Payne, with direction from Lt. Jame Tracy, his supervisor, went forward with arresting the nurse, including physically removing her from the emergency room and pressing her against a wall while she was handcuffed.
Body camera footage showed the entire incident, inciting a public outcry against the event and prompting personal apologies from Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
Payne was ultimately fired from his position with the police department and Tracy was demoted, though both are appealing the decision.
Wubbel settled with the involved parties even though a civil lawsuit was never filed. According to Wubbel’s attorney, Karra Porter, “There will be no legal lawsuit. This part of this is over. We’re hoping the discussion about body cameras continues.”
Matthew Rojas, a spokesman for Mayor Jackie Biskupski, stated that both the hospital and the city agreed to pay $250,000 each, bringing the total to $500,000.