Utah Nurse Arrested For Doing Her Job Reaches $500,000 Settlement
The nurse who was roughly arrested at a Salt Lake City hospital has settled with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.
Police body camera footage from the July incident showed an officer roughly arresting Alex Wubbels after she refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
At the beginning of the video, she is seen calmly reading the officer the hospital's policy not to allow blood to be drawn without a warrant or the patient's consent, unless the patient is under arrest. "This is something you guys agreed to with this hospital," she explains.
Then the officer lunges at Wubbels, forces her outside and handcuffs her as she screams that she has done nothing wrong.
The footage drew widespread outrage when it was released by the nurse and her attorney. It became part of a broader conversation about police use of force.
"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 on Tuesday. "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."
The settlement deal covers all possible defendants from lawsuits, The Associated Press reports, including individual police officers and hospital security guards.
Salt Lake City and the University of Utah will split the cost of the settlement.
Wubbels says she will use a portion of the money to help people get access to police body camera footage of incidents involving themselves, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Her attorney's firm will provide free legal services for those seeking access to video. Wubbels says she also plans to donate to the Utah Nurses Association and help lead the #EndNurseAbuse campaign.
Last month, the Salt Lake Police Department fired the arresting officer, Detective Jeff Payne, and demoted his watch commander, Lt. James Tracey, to the rank of officer. The Tribune reports that both men have appealed the punishment, and that a criminal investigation into Wubbels' arrest is ongoing.
Wubbels told the AP that she would be disappointed if the disciplinary measures are overturned, though she says it's not in her control.
"The police have to police themselves," she said. "This is something I never would have expected to happen, but I'm also honored by the weight of it."