Remember Alex Wubbels? We wrote about her here on Friday. She was the nurse at the University of Utah hospital who stood up to Detective Jeff Payne when he illegally demanded a blood sample from a crash victim in her care. Despite warnings from Wubbels’ supervisors and many other hospital employees present, the detective continued to threaten her just for abiding by rules his very own department agreed to with the hospital regarding the collection of blood.
While that situation did end in Wubbels’ arrest, she was eventually released and was never charged with any crime. In fact, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski held a press conference and went a step further than that:
[W]e are truly apologetic…Like many of you, I watched the video of the police officer interacting with the University of Utah medical center nurse, Alex Wubbels, for the first time through the media yesterday. What I saw is completely unacceptable. I extended a personal apology just now on the phone to Ms. Wubbels for what she has been through and for simply doing her job.”
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown joined Biskupski in the statement:
I was alarmed by what I saw in the video with our officer and Ms. Wubbels. And I’m sad at the rift this has caused between law enforcement and the nurses we’ve worked so closely with…Immediate steps were taken within 12 hours, body camera footage was reviewed, and an Internal Affairs investigation was started…This will never happen again.”
But the story doesn’t end there. In a supremely ironic twist, it turns out that the patient in Wubbels’ care, in addition to driving the semi that was crashed into during a Utah Highway Patrol chase, was also a police officer himself.
Sam Tower, the police chief of nearby Rigby, Idaho, issued a news release about his reserve officer, William Gray. In the statement, Tower finally acknowledges the truth about what Alex Wubbels should be remembered for doing:
The Rigby Police Department would like to thank the nurse involved and hospital staff for standing firm and protecting Officer Gray’s rights as a patient and victim. Protecting the rights of others is truly a heroic act.”
That is the takeaway from all this: That not only was Alex Wubbels correct in defying Detective Payne, but she was a hero for maintaining the privacy and protecting the rights of her patient.
We should all be lucky enough to get a nurse like Alex.
Featured image via George Frey/Getty Images