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Nurse Arrested For Not Permitting Officer to Draw Blood

by Dennis Ernst • September 05, 2017

Lawsuit imageOn July 26 in Salt Lake City, Utah, a driver fleeing police slammed into a semi truck and died at the scene. The truck burst into flames and the driver was admitted to the burn unit at University Hospital with life-threatening injuries. An officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department insisted on drawing blood from the victim without a warrant. The victim was not under arrest and could not consent because he was in a coma. It isn't clear why the officers were seeking to draw blood on the truck driver, although some speculate if the truck driver could be found to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, positive test results could prevent legal action against the police for causing the accident.

In a tense exchange caught on body cameras, the nurse, former Olympic skier Alex Wubbles, reminded the officer seeking access to the patient the requirements permitting them to draw blood from the victim had not been met. The officer then forcefully wrestled Wubbles outside, applied handcuffs, and placed her under arrest as she screamed "I've done nothing wrong." Campus security officers stood idly by. Only later did the officers realize blood had already been drawn on the patient, and they could have sought a warrant to obtain access to the samples.

The video was not released until August 30 when Wubbles and her attorney felt they were not getting an adequate response from the University of Utah about why their own officers did not intervene. Only after the video was released did the Salt Lake City Police Department place two of the officers involved in the arrest on paid leave. In the five days since its release, the video has had over 5 million views.

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