Two review panels sustain allegations against Salt Lake officers involved in nurse's arrest

Internal Affairs and Civilian Review Board release reports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - Salt Lake City released the findings of two investigations into the arrest of Alex Wubbels, the nurse who refused a police officer's demand to draw blood from a patient.

Citing hospital policy, Nurse Alex Wubbels refused to allow officers to take a blood sample from an unconscious accident victim on July 26th at the University of Utah Hospital. She wound up getting handcuffed and arrested for Obstruction of Justice.

On Wednesday, Mayor Jackie Biskupski gave an update on the investigation.

"The actions by our officers were very disappointing and unacceptable," Mayor Biskupski said.

Still Mayor Biskupski says she doesn't want to influence Chief Brown's decision on the fate of Detective Jeff Payne and Lieutenant James Tracy.

"I want to make sure that our process will stand up to legal scrutiny," the Mayor said. "Therefore I am not putting my finger on the scale."

The Internal Affairs report sustains five allegations against Lieutenant Tracy and six against Detective Payne including Conduct Unbecoming by a Police Employee and violations of the Department's Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. Nurse Wubbels' attorney Karra Porter was incredulous as she read the report for the first time.

"What? What? Who is saying this?" Porter said as she scanned the documents.

"We have a statement here from Detective Payne saying that he advised her that she was under arrest and 'I reached for her right wrist so that she could be placed into handcuffs'," Porter told reporters. "Anyone who sees the video, he's lunging at her. There's two or three different videos that show that. This description defies what's on the video."

Wubbels has not decided whether to file a lawsuit against the city and the police department but that remains an option.

"I've seen that video and it continues to make me sick and I've seen it 20 times," Porter said. "So I do believe that Alex should receive compensation. I sometimes as also skeptical that governmental entities don't really change their ways unless they've had to feel some pain."

The officers, currently on paid administrative leave, now have up to 20 days to respond to these allegations and then Chief Brown will make his decision.


The Salt Lake County District Attorney's office is conducting a separate criminal investigation into the officers' actions.


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