Heroic Utah Nurse Arrested for Standing Up To Police To Protect Patient
September 2, 2017 1:57 AM   Subscribe

On Friday, a University of Utah Burn Unit nurse, Alex Wubbels, found herself in a precarious legal position: trapped between a police detective and his watch commander insisting upon taking an illegal blood sample of one of her patients on the one hand, and the clearly stated (and constitutionally legal) policy of denying them their request as a violation of her unconscious patient's 4th Amendment rights. She was professional and respectful throughout, and maintained her composure admirably. Then they arrested her. Bodycam videos from a second officer shows the event.

The Mayor and Chief of Police have apologized publicly to Nurse Wubbels. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has requested a criminal investigation against the police, agreed to by the Police Chief, to be run by an outside policing agency.
posted by darkstar (97 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
This whole thing is so senseless. It really seems to boil down to "cops really don't like being told 'no.'" This and "We only kill black people" happened in short proximity to each other, but these incidents and the countless other ways police routinely abuse their power and reveal their biases are just "isolated cases requiring more training", not symptoms of the underlying abusive dynamic that is only getting worse (autoplaying video).
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:18 AM on September 2 [40 favorites]


Is this getting much traction in the news in the USA? It's been on the national news here in Australia. Sadly, it's the kind of trampling on the rule of law that we've come to expect from the police gangs of the USA over here on the other side of the world. A few bad apples spoil the barrel indeed! No way would I travel to the USA at the moment- as much as I would love to visit, as much as I am positive that the vast majority of its citizens are wonderful, welcoming people- even those that I may not agree with personally/ politically. It just seems like it might be... risky?

If such a thing were to happen in Australia it would be a national outrage- we'd hear no end of it for days on end in the news.

So, is it making the news? Or is it just more of the status quo that has come to be expected in the US?
posted by Philby at 2:20 AM on September 2 [14 favorites]


If such a thing were to happen in Australia it would be a national outrage

While a cop acting like this in Australia would cause outrage, and should...I'm almost completely sure cops in Australia are allowed to take blood samples from unconscious crash victims. I believe it may be mandatory, in fact.
posted by Jimbob at 2:29 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Is this getting much traction in the news in the USA?

It's on the front page of CNN right now. It's also been HUGE news here in Utah, pretty much everyone I know on both sides of the political spectrum has posted it on Facebook. It was the lead story on all the Utah news sources I follow yesterday.

I think police excesses are certainly common -- I've experienced two separate incidents in Salt Lake City myself -- but one that is (a) pretty clearly 100% wrong and (b) recorded on video is unusual here.

Also, obviously, you have to wonder if the facts that the victim was white and had the backing of one of the largest businesses in Salt Lake City have something to do with the publicity and the quick rush to apologize.
posted by mmoncur at 2:45 AM on September 2 [26 favorites]


My 2¢:

The officer was clearly violating a pre-arranged police/hospital policy already in effect (the video shows this in the nurse's initial dialogue), was then violating HIPPA regulations by asking for PHI (personal health information) without the necessary authorizations not to mention asking for the information without a warrant which was illegal as all heck.

Hopefully the officer (will be fired for his abuse and violation of the law) and he and the department will be cited under HIPPA law ((Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.) which can result in a 50k fine for each instance of violation.

Kudos to the nurse for standing up for the patient. By the way, if the nurse would have complied with the officer's blatantly illegal order, on the face of his request, the nurse would have likely been fired in an nano-second. The nurse would have had to get an order to do a blood draw from an MD and there is likely no MD in Utah who would have put his license on the line for such an illegal order. If the illegal order had proceeded both the nurse and MD would have possibly have lost their licenses, been fired and exposed the hospital to big buck lawsuits both civil and under HIPPA regs.

What is especially irksome is, this was not an officer attack on one single nurse, but at attack on nursing in general at the hospital. If not nurse Wubbles it would have been her cohorts or nursing manager if they had been dragged into this nonsense, etc, etc, etc. Even the presumed hospital administrator on the phone keeps telling the officer "you're making a mistake" (and that is correct, he was). The officer's illegal and unreasonable request would have put all nurses and doctors involved at risk.

This officer was so far in never, never land he shouldn't ever be allowed near a hospital or "authority" again.

I hope she will be able to sue the police department and likely walk away with several millions of dollars.
posted by WinstonJulia at 3:49 AM on September 2 [68 favorites]


HIPAA, not HIPPA, just for the record.
posted by Panjandrum at 4:39 AM on September 2 [12 favorites]


I apologise if I came across as being all high and mighty with my comment up above- Australia is far from blameless right now.. just look at the current ridiculousness surrounding the same sex marriage debate, which is gearing up to get a whoooole lot nastier in the coming months. It's just... even here on the other side of the world, thousands of miles away from the epicentre of the current mad political climate- even here I'm finding the Trump Era to be absolutely exhausting, exasperating, draining, utterly anxiety inducing. I know this particularly situation isn't directly related to all that... but it just feels like it is part and parcel, you know?

Thanks very much for answering my question. Dog help us all, hey? Courage, oh my dear friends. We'll pull through this together, if we hold onto hope and hold fast to what we know to be true and right.
posted by Philby at 4:47 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


...initially told local media that Payne had been suspended from the department’s blood draw unit but remained on active duty. But late Friday, the police department’s Twitter feed said that Payne and another unnamed officer had been placed on administrative leave.
What REALLY REALLY irks me is that this dude was ON THE BLOOD DRAW UNIT trying to get blood from VICTIM?!?! That's literally his freakin' job from the beginning to know this information!! He is {screams at computer} "a trained police phlebotomist."

This woman is wonderfully strong. She was calm. She fully stood up for her patient! The swiftness she takes to step back away from him when he tries to swipe at her phone (dude.. why?!) is masterful in terms of reflexes. I can't imagine being that okay in her shoes.

Both he and the person who gave him the order to arrest her if she didn't comply should be gone. The level to which he reacted is literally terrifying.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:52 AM on September 2 [51 favorites]


... not symptoms of the underlying abusive dynamic that is only getting worse.

Give this radio program about the Deacons for Defense and Justice a listen. I'd argue what is happening instead is that social media is daylighting how police everywhere have ALWAYS operated.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:54 AM on September 2 [31 favorites]


This nurse is a hero.
posted by lalochezia at 5:00 AM on September 2 [30 favorites]


This wouldn't have been against the law ten years ago in the U.S. The cop was following an old law because he's senile. I'd still like to see him thrown in jail though.
posted by xammerboy at 5:03 AM on September 2


Even if the nurse was entirely in the wrong, there wasn't a reason to escalate: the guy whose blood was to be taken wasn't going anywhere, the nurse wasn't a flight risk, nothing critical was happening elsewhere that required it to be done right now; the kind of thing they can find in blood this long after the accident will still be there two hours from now.

So, Detective, go back to your judge, explain what happened, come back with a warrant for the blood and a warrant for the arrest of the nurse, and if the judge says "no" to both you might want to rethink your justification for getting either warrant. Nothing the cop did helped accomplish his objective and likely messed up his job for the foreseeable future.

There's a thread in these sort of events where society seems to think Judge Dredd is right: like, if a crime is being committed, the police officer is there to punish, not just restore peace. The police officer in this case was punishing the nurse for not obeying; he wasn't enforcing the law, the police officer created this situation himself. When you get society OK with people being punished on-the-spot for saying no to a police officer, or executed by gunfire for crimes which wouldn't even be close to getting the death penalty if it went before a court, this is Judge Dredd territory we're walking in.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:05 AM on September 2 [62 favorites]


The shitty cherry on top of this shit sundae is that the person the cop wanted to draw blood from was not a suspect in any crime. The person was a victim in a crash because of a high-speed chase. So why was the cop so desperate to get that person's blood?
posted by Etrigan at 5:12 AM on September 2 [40 favorites]


So why was the cop so desperate to get that person's blood?

Because then the victim can be accused of DUI (I for 'influence' of any chemical) and remove a degree of responsibility from the cops chasing the suspect. Even if you're a criminal, if you die at the hands of cops, there can still be a lawsuit for wrongful death. These are cops covering their own ass.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:16 AM on September 2 [172 favorites]


AzraelBrown gets it in one. The thin blue line.
posted by Etrigan at 5:18 AM on September 2 [19 favorites]


I really feel like the post title should be "Heroic Utah Nurse ASSAULTED For Standing Up To Police To Protect Patient."
posted by kuanes at 5:25 AM on September 2 [33 favorites]


Granted that I don't know more than what is shown in the video and reported in articles, but based on what it looks like, the outcome I would like to see is this officer charged with assault and/or civil rights charges, and his supervisor fired if he gave the order to do this.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:36 AM on September 2 [3 favorites]


The cop was straight breaking the law by demanding the blood draw was he not? What's all this stuff about administrative leave and fines? He should be fired.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:44 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


kuanes has it. This was illegal, top to bottom. Just because a cop did it doesn't change that. That woman was assaulted for doing her job, which is especially egregious since she was having to explain the law to the cop in the first place. The cop should be fired and tried for assault. What occurred is straight-up fascism, and I wish it would get reported as such.
posted by nushustu at 6:18 AM on September 2 [21 favorites]


The entire 19-minute video is well worth watching. The arrest that takes place about 6 minutes into the video is quite disturbing. But the conversation between the cop's superior officer, the hospital bureaucrat, and the nurse a few minutes later is utterly terrifying.

The superior officer calmly, coolly, and at great length 'explains' the legal justification for the arrest to the nurse. His explanation is 180 degrees wrong in multiple particulars. He explains that there is a clash between the policy of the hospital and 'my law,' and that the hospital is a bad actor that has displayed problems in this realm before. He waves away a staff attempt to put him on the phone with a hospital lawyer. He flatly misrepresents the facts of the incident a few minutes ago to the nurse, for which he was not present. He interrogates her under the guise of a discussion of the relevant law. He explains that his knowledge of the law is based on 20 years of experience.

This is not a garden-variety abuse of authority based on a snap judgment. The cops had many opportunities to de-escalate this. This is lunacy and horror.
posted by Mr. Justice at 6:29 AM on September 2 [91 favorites]


Just to make things even worse: assuming the nurse had been foolish enough to comply and give the police officer that unconscious patient's blood sample, not only would the nurse (and probably also her supervisor) be fired; the patient would sue the nurse, the hospital, and the cops; plus any halfway-decent lawyer would get the illegally-seized blood sample tossed out as evidence. So why bother?!?
posted by easily confused at 6:32 AM on September 2 [6 favorites]


This woman is wonderfully strong. She was calm. She fully stood up for her patient! The swiftness she takes to step back away from him when he tries to swipe at her phone (dude.. why?!) is masterful in terms of reflexes.

From the Deseret News article: "Wubbels, whose maiden name is Alex Shaffers, was a two-time Olympian in alpine skiing, competing in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. She credits the toughness she learned from being an Olympic athlete for getting her through the ordeal."

Badass. Definitely a badass.
posted by carmicha at 6:36 AM on September 2 [77 favorites]


"What's all this stuff about administrative leave and fines? He should be fired."

Because cops' employer is the government, they, like all public employees, have Constitutional Due Process rights when being fired. It takes a while to fire them. I dealt with public school teachers, and while it's pretty freaking frustrating being the government unit who has to put an obviously terrible employee on leave while going carefully through the process and suffering the terrible PR, it's a lot worse to preemptively fire them, get sued, and be forced to restore them to their job or pay them a million dollar settlement after they got fired for slapping a student or something. It can sometimes take even longer if there's a crime; we had an employee who embezzled and they were on leave for OVER A YEAR before we could proceed with the official firing because we had to wait for the prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the case to fulfill our Due Process obligations. (We were then allowed to make the firing retroactive to the date we made the police report, and my state even allows clawing back any pay during that time period if you have to use paid leave (which we didn't) after the ex-employee is convicted. "Well, we retroactively fired that guy a year ago" is not much better PR, though.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:45 AM on September 2 [21 favorites]


On Friday, a University of Utah Burn Unit nurse, Alex Wubbels,

AP says the video was recorded on July 26. The story broke on Friday.

The bodycam reveals police inventing misdeeds by citizens and arresting people for not following their illegal demands. Did Detective Payne forget he was wearing one? Or was he that convinced that he was in the right?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:50 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Did Detective Payne forget he was wearing one?

The phlebotomist detective was accompanied by a regular beat cop, and that's the cop who had his camera on. Although I'm disappointed that cop didn't step in (probably outranked by detective) I hope that he had enough sense to think, "this is going south rapidly; although I can't intervene I'm sure as hell going to make sure my copcam doesn't mysteriously get 'erased'".
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:55 AM on September 2 [10 favorites]


My dad was a cop, so I spent a lot of time around cops as a kid.

Every single police force in America should be disbanded. The whole culture of policing here is utterly broken beyond repair.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:22 AM on September 2 [49 favorites]


The detective phlebotomist is now on administrative leave. The mayor and chief of police have apologized to the nurse.

So far so good. I can't help feeling that if the nurse had been black rather than blonde it would not be getting any media exposure, let alone the admission that she was in the right.

I retain enough pathetic hope in human nature that I hope the hospital admin would have done an end run around firing the nurse if she had been bullied into taking the blood sample, and been understanding enough to not end her career.

But I can also imagine the feelings of the guy whose blood sample was not taken, if he had woken up to find it had been taken.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:24 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


The arresting/assaulting Detective Payne is the one that will catch a lot of the heat, and rightly so, but when I watched the full video, I became MUCH more outraged by his Watch Commander, Lt. James Tracy.

The Watch Commander is the one you go to when the Detective or the beat cop makes a mistake. But in this case he directed the Detective to carry out an illegal order, which certainly gave the Detective the confidence and backing to arrest the nurse, despite the policy he had before him written in black and white, and - what's even more stunning - despite the Detective's own admission that the police had no Probable Cause (or warrant, or consent) to perform a blood draw.

The Watch Commander persisted in directing the illegal action even after he'd been informed of the standing agreement of "the law". He then - and this is where my blood started to really boil - he mansplained/interrogated/intimidated the nurse under detention using egregiously incorrect understanding both of the law and of his own department's explicit policy, supporting it by his "20+ years of experience", when she actually had the law (not to mention common freaking sense) on her side.

They both should be terminated, but if experience is any indicator, it leaves me thinking it will be some mild administrative discipline, if anything. I really hope that - for the sake of every future nurse, patient, hospital staffer and LEO - Nurse Wubbels sues. Calling for "better training" probably isn't enough to send the kind of message this situation really requires.
posted by darkstar at 7:52 AM on September 2 [48 favorites]


So far so good. I can't help feeling that if the nurse had been black rather than blonde it would not be getting any media exposure, let alone the admission that she was in the right.

Agreed, absolutely.

I also suspect that had the nurse been male, the incident might not even have occurred in the first place, or at least would not have escalated the way it did. The gender dynamics throughout that interaction were appalling. That officer and his superior both just had to put that uppity bitch in her place.
posted by tully_monster at 8:22 AM on September 2 [14 favorites]


After arresting the nurse, the detective, who works for an ambulance company when off duty, muses that he might have to take all the "good people" to other hospitals and bring all the "transients" to that one.
posted by orange ball at 8:40 AM on September 2 [18 favorites]


The question I keep asking myself is that is it more valuable to society to have police or not to have police. Society did manage to exist before Peel and his cronies showed the west just what an organized police force could do.

The history of police (at least in the US) has been absolutely rife with corruption. I don't think this problem can be fixed without a thorough retooling of the police forces on a national level. If I hear another cop say "It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six." I don't know what I'll do. Probably just keep viewing the police with intense distrust and disloyalty, and avoid any possible contact.

Anecdotally, I called the cops when some kids were messing with our mail and after checking to see if I had any warrants, they proceeded to tell me that it's "not our job" and that they couldn't do anything. I wish I could dictate what was my job and wasn't my job when I was working. Fire them all, they're all bad apples.
posted by Sphinx at 8:41 AM on September 2 [13 favorites]


As a nurse, this makes my blood boil. We are statistically more likely to be assaulted than police officers are. Police officers are held to significantly lower standards of integrity. As nurses, we could violate your rights in a thousand different ways and you'd probably never know. But we don't (admittedly, some do, and I don't want to excuse them - but let me focus on nurses like Alex). We protect your rights and your safety when you can't do that for yourself. We hold your dignity, your comfort, your safety, your lives in our hands. We subject ourselves to emotional and physical abuse to which we often have little recourse. As the Nightingale Pledge states, we are "devoted towards the welfare of those committed to [our] care."

I expected to face abuse at the hands of patients, visitors, and family members as a nurse, but never imagined I'd risk being assaulted by those who were supposed to protect me. What happened to Alex absolutely could've happened to me and my coworkers. This chills me.
posted by pecanpies at 8:45 AM on September 2 [78 favorites]


This is not a garden-variety abuse of authority based on a snap judgment. The cops had many opportunities to de-escalate this. This is lunacy and horror.

This this this this this. WATCH the longer video. All of it. Really. Do it.

It's vital to understand, as we descend into total fascism, that the only thing preventing cops from abusing people are social conventions. Which the 3rd cop is throwing out the window entirely, knowingly. He's saying "get out of my way, let me do whatever the fuck I want, and if I was wrong, the courts will figure it out later."

What's the fundamental difference between our country of laws (yes, yes, I know, talking ideals here) and lawless countries with rampant police and government abuse and corruption? This. This is it. Individual people's shared understanding of right and wrong, moral and not, legal and not. This nurse was totally in the right, yes, but she's also the physical manifestation of the idea of a society of laws, of ethics, of process, of debate in a spirit of mutual respect. The cops here represent true fascistic authority, and most concerning, the bystanders here! The FUCKING bystanders! Most of whom are authority figures themselves (security, supervisors, managers) who just STAND THERE. Who feel uncomfortable about this abuse that's happening RIGHT in front of them. Who barely interject to prevent the abuse of their colleague.

This whole goddamn thing gives me very little hope. Thank god for the nurse. Thank god for the people she represents in our society.
posted by odinsdream at 9:15 AM on September 2 [43 favorites]


This woman is wonderfully strong. She was calm. She fully stood up for her patient! The swiftness she takes to step back away from him when he tries to swipe at her phone (dude.. why?!) is masterful in terms of reflexes. I can't imagine being that okay in her shoes.

Contrast her with the completely passive behavior of what appears to be a male physician standing next to her. (I might be wrong about that).

Nurses are not treated with the respect they deserve in the hospital hierarchy.
posted by JackFlash at 9:18 AM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Darkstar has it 100% on the money. This was not a rogue cop. This was an example of systemic top-down disregard for the rule of law by the police apparatus. Lt. Tracy is not trending in the news right now, but he should be, since he gave the order.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:24 AM on September 2 [10 favorites]


A few bad apples spoil the barrel indeed!

A respected police trainer said something along the lines of "10% of cops will always do the right thing, 10% of cops will always do the wrong thing, and the other 80% will just go along with whoever they happen to be partnered with."

It isn't just a few bad apples. It's that 90% of cops cannot be counted on to do the right thing.
posted by JackFlash at 9:29 AM on September 2 [37 favorites]


the victim can be accused of DUI (I for 'influence' of any chemical) and remove a degree of responsibility from the cops chasing the suspect. Even if you're a criminal, if you die at the hands of cops, there can still be a lawsuit for wrongful death. These are cops covering their own ass.

I thought this as well, but in the video of the crash it is crystal clear that the suspect swerved directly into the path of the truck without giving it time to respond, so I'm not sure how they could possibly cast any blame on the truck driver. In addition he is a reserve police officer.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:29 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Contrast her with the completely passive behavior of what appears to be a male physician standing next to her. (I might be wrong about that).

What makes you think he's a physician?
posted by telegraph at 9:34 AM on September 2 [3 favorites]


This is not a garden-variety abuse of authority based on a snap judgment. The cops had many opportunities to de-escalate this. This is lunacy and horror.
posted by Mr. Justice at 6:29 AM on September 2


So ordered. *whap*
posted by petebest at 9:34 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Worth noting that officer Payne is also a part-time ambulance driver, which means he is really only a part-time cop...perhaps that will be used as his defense...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 9:41 AM on September 2


if i were the hospital, i'd ban his ass from the hospital grounds and he can pick and choose who he's going to deliver to another hospital
posted by pyramid termite at 9:46 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure how they could possibly cast any blame on the truck driver.

It just has to be enough to cast reasonable doubt on the police in front of a jury, not convict the driver of DUI.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:53 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


This is why we have to have police cameras, no exceptions. You turn yours off, you're suspended and presumed guilty.

Also, it should be made absolutely fucking clear to anyone outside of healthcare that anyone employed in healthcare is forced to do training around HIPAA and the penalties for violating it every single year. In most cases, when someone is caught violating consent and privacy in far more innocuous circumstances, they are summarily fired, no warnings. I have seen people escorted from the building because they were looking at a family member's chart.

I don't know what is more infuriating-- that the police phlebotomist didn't know the laws surrounding this or chose to ignore them, but it is inexcusable that there is any grey area around this and the officer still as a job. The very wide consensus within the health care industry is that having an employee who has made even one lapse of judgement like this opens an organization up to far too much liability.

The nurse is brave for sure but she also knew with no ambiguity what her responsibility was.

And yeah, this is all over the news here in the states.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:57 AM on September 2 [10 favorites]


Despite all the press this is getting, I can't help but feel the detective will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist when it all blows over. The nurse may be able sue and win damages, but she will not get justice. She may get a small sliver of vengeance if some of the nuts at places like 4chan decide to dox him and make his life miserable, but then that puts us down the road to mob rule, which the cops are supposed to help protect us from.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 10:16 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


in the video one of the police officers asks the detective if he should turn off his body cam ("on or off?") and I think another officer makes a similar comment. Video cameras are not the only answer.

Clearly this is a systemic problem, and not just limited to the US but to other corrupt nations as well. Eliminating the police entirely isn't the answer but what should replace them? In my town the statistics on incidents police are involved in are: traffic stops (speeding etc), "de-escalating" domestic incidents (policy is they have to arrest one person and remove them from the home for a month with no exceptions), responding to severely unwell residents (sometimes mentally unwell, sometimes acting erractivally because of diabetes or medication interactions) , petty crimes (lots of bored teenagers locally with nothing to do), shoplifting, and very, very rarely, violent crime (mostly gang related - Hells Angels and Mob turf wars). So why is the training for police officers so focused on guns/physical restraints/aggression/intimidation/authoritarianism? Is there anywhere that is radically changing what the role of police is now that violent crime is no longer the threat it once was? Should we have "Emergency Service Teams" of social workers and nurses instead who can call on "traditional police" if their assessment of a science warrents it?
posted by saucysault at 10:20 AM on September 2 [10 favorites]


According to the many health care professionals on the Reddit thread on this it happens all the time and doctors and nurses have even been charged. None have been convicted but they've lost jobs over it and been massively impacted financially. F'ed up doesn't begin to touch it.
posted by fshgrl at 10:23 AM on September 2 [7 favorites]


My parents didn't have the kind of talk with me that young people of color all over this country have because I'm just a suburban white girl, but my dad did very emphatically tell me that I should be scared of cops. He told me to comply without complaint or resistance regardless of my rights, say nothing of consequence, use the words "sir" or "ma'am" as appropriate, then call him/a lawyer. He had a lot of experience working with cops because he did body removals for a coroner as a part-time gig, and he told me in the 90's that the primary difference between a cop and a career criminal is that one has a union. I know, I know, #notallcops, blah blah. But cops scare the shit out of me.
posted by xyzzy at 10:27 AM on September 2 [15 favorites]


One month. A full fucking month and nothing was done until a video was made public. That dirty cop's been put on paid vacation, which is as much punishment as he will get. The poor nurse will be pulled over three times a week for speeding / broken taillight / "swerving" until the day she dies.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:52 AM on September 2 [18 favorites]


Hopefully the officer (will be fired for his abuse and violation of the law) and he and the department will be cited under HIPPA law ((Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.) which can result in a 50k fine for each instance of violation.

While I agree with you, HIPAA is the least important aspect of this, IMO. This cop should be criminally prosecuted for assault, kidnapping, and false arrest. The issue of whether police can take blood form unconscious people without a warrant has been decided by the Supreme Court (they can't). As such, qualified immunity should not apply to these officers, and they should be personally liable for damages. Yes, the nurse will collect much more from the city, but these officers (the detective and the watch commander) should end up bankrupt. Then we can talk about HIPAA violations on top of that. There may be some bad apples around, but the worms in the apples need to be squashed.
posted by scivola at 10:52 AM on September 2 [12 favorites]


This is fucked (If only shocking because the nurse is white). Still, even though I'm a nurse, the part of this story that disturbs me the most is learning that there are police-phlebotomist in Utah.

What the fuck are cops doing blood draws for? That is what drives this into scary police state territory to me.
posted by latkes at 10:54 AM on September 2 [12 favorites]


In Utah it is getting more and more like it is illegal to not be Mormon. As the legislature enacts the lowest blood alcohol content law in the nation, goes to war on the environmentally conscious, goes to war for coal, and generally tries to pave the way for Bundyesque activity. Utah law is dicey when it comes to insurance payments for alcohol and drug related accidents. I once worked at a hospital in Utah, for quite a long time. A trauma patient came in, victim of a boat crash down on Lake Powell. The staff was being snotty because a test turned up traces of "cocaine" and the patient denied drug use. The doctor, now deceased was a great doctor. He poured through the records, and saw where paramedics had used licocaine to put a breathing vent in, and it created a false positive for cocaine. The doc was schooling a resident, and said, "Always listen to your patients, always." The hospital had to undergo some sensitivity training on a different floor where most orthopedic traumas came in, because they were snotty about anyone who had been drinking, or who appeared culturally non-mormon. Utah is the place where a lung transplant was denied because the kid, who soon after died, had traces of marijuana in his blood. His lethal condition in his lungs was caused by infection, not drug abuse.

Righteousness often presents as a disease state.
posted by Oyéah at 11:04 AM on September 2 [41 favorites]


This has to do with proving drunken or stoned driving for issues of financial liability. Medicare has some special robbery they do, in the case of hospitalization costs after car and other vehicular accidents. My mom had a crash, she had a five thousand dollar out of pocket cost rider on her insurance. Medicare grabbed that first and paid out at the fully demanded rate from docs and the hospital, even though she was covered by medicare and they pay for certain things at certain rates, and has a hospital deductible that is standard. They took the five grand, and she had to pay out of pocket for her rehab stay, almost exactly the five thousand they took. Utah is retributive, and discriminates against women outrageously, and especially financially. Note how they the powers that be are all over it, only because the press picked it up, one month later.
posted by Oyéah at 11:11 AM on September 2 [5 favorites]


The thin blue line is always painted over shitty police behavior.
posted by Catblack at 11:23 AM on September 2 [5 favorites]


Resisting arrest isn't heroic, its ill advised. Right or wrong, when a law enforcement officer informs you you are under arrest, stop talking and go as passive as circumstances permit.
While the officer was performing poorly to the point of ignorance an calling into question the quality of his his training on such routine matters, she resisted arrest by backing away and thats a trigger you never want to pull when being placed under arrest.
A was already pointed out, the RN would have lost her job by complying with the Police Officer's order. She had no choice but to submit to being arrested (and place her faith in a the system that would detect and reverse Officer Mouthbreather's errors with all due haste. You sometimes read about this in the papers where its referred to as being "Released without being charged")
And the video would be way less viral.
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:50 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


Resisting arrest isn't heroic, its ill advised. Right or wrong, when a law enforcement officer informs you you are under arrest, stop talking and go as passive as circumstances permit.

Her reaction is the natural one anyone will have when confronted with someone suddenly going gorilla on them. Police rely on that so they can claim the victim was "resisting arrest". It's how anyone who hasn't had lots of training otherwise will react. It's how you would react.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:15 PM on September 2 [58 favorites]


While the officer was performing poorly to the point of ignorance an calling into question the quality of his his training on such routine matters, she resisted arrest by backing away and thats a trigger you never want to pull when being placed under arrest.

Looking into it a little bit, it appears that in Utah, resisting an unlawful arrest is not exactly a cut and dried crime.
posted by rhizome at 12:18 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


I have so many thoughts on this.

For one, if I were her I imagine that I would now be terrified of cops and might even be prone to a PTSD type reaction in their presence. Which causes a problem if you are likely to interact with cops in the course of your day-to-day work. I hope the hospital will find a way to accommodate her so that she can still do fulfilling work but on a different floor where she doesn't have to interact with cops very much.

My nurse friends in Los Angeles have noted that nurses in Utah are not in a union. I don't know if that's correct but it presents a challenge for this woman as she tries to pursue her case legally. Will her employer sue the police department on her behalf (since this occurred on their property, as she was carrying out the policies of her employer, as directed by her supervisor), or will she need to sue as an independent person?

IANAL; doesn't this constitute false imprisonment? If it does, would the ACLU step in to help out with her case?

I am very very angry on behalf of this good citizen who did not do even one thing wrong, not even a tiny bit, and I am grateful that the whole thing was caught on camera; I'm glad that no one was more severely physically injured, I'm glad that the person that they were attempting to get blood from did not have his rights violated. Most importantly, I'm grateful that these body cams exist now and that citizens have more of an opportunity to refute the lies that bad cops use to cover their actions. I wish that body cam and dash cam footage was made mandatory for review every single day by those would care to do so. I know police unions won't allow that but our taxes are paying for those systems and we should demand the ability to review the services that our taxes are paying for.
posted by vignettist at 12:44 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Dude, watch the video again. She is being extremely calm throughout, went to the trouble of finding the actual policies and printing them out and handing them to him, while carefully explaining each one. She has supervisors on the phone and is offering them to talk to this guy. There's absolutely nothing urgent going on, except the cop is being told no. When he runs out of wiggle room is the point when he snaps. It's Flatly obvious to the observers he's in the wrong here, and that moment, when any chance of him getting back into the position of power seems lost, when he snaps and lunges at her, saying "we're done here." When he's tired of being inconvenienced and pretending that any of this civvie bullshit matters to him. He came to do a thing and he's damn well gonna do it and this fucking bitch has the gall to tell him he's in the wrong? So then he reclaims power through the only avenue left to him, physical force. Of course she's fucking surprised, he immediately escalated a tense but otherwise non-violent confrontation into a physical attack, which we only call "arrest" because of the license we give this type of person.
posted by odinsdream at 1:23 PM on September 2 [70 favorites]


Resisting arrest isn't heroic, its ill advised. Right or wrong, when a law enforcement officer informs you you are under arrest, stop talking and go as passive as circumstances permit.

No. Sorry but this is an absurdly naive line of thinking. Do you personally train yourself in the art of being arrested correctly? Do you run drills with a partner, having them vary the degree of menace and aggressiveness that they approach you with? If so, I guess that's great, but that's not something that most people spend time practicing, nor should it even OCCUR to them that they should spend time practicing it.

That cop did not simply arrest her with a polite but firm "Ma'am, we are in disagreement here, and I'm going to have to place you under arrest." He tried to smack her phone away and then lunged at her, to restrain her, for obviously unlawful reasons. You can pretty much see the fear in her eyes: she doesn't know if he's just going to stop at handcuffing her. This is a violent, angry guy who isn't making any goddamn sense and he has a weapon. In her case, her resistance wasn't even about trying to be a hero, and I would have done the same thing. Because I would have been fucking terrified and quite sure that he wanted to hurt me.
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 1:24 PM on September 2 [48 favorites]


Was she resisting arrest? He grabbed at her phone, advanced several feet chasing her (she was walking backwards) while shouting "we're done, we're done" and then said "you are under arrest". She had been speaking calmly with him, standing facing him quite closely up until that point. So it seems she was reacting to his assault rather than to his later statement she was under arrest. (I also didn't hear her getting her rights read even when the CO spoke with her, when attempting to gas-light her into breaking the law). Was she told what she was under arrest for? "Resisting arrest" seems like a bit of a stretch when she was asking why she was being arrested and he was unable to cite what law she was breaking. (On preview, jinx!)
posted by saucysault at 1:26 PM on September 2 [19 favorites]


He assaulted her. Full stop. They were having a conversation and then he jumped at her. Then he bothered to say she was under arrest. If you want to criticize how a victim of assault acted while being assaulted, I'm sure there's a police union hall that would love to host you.
posted by zachlipton at 1:34 PM on September 2 [41 favorites]


At this point I feel like it should be everyone's civic duty to always record police whenever possible. Fuck police bodycams, it's a nice thought but it needs to be out of their control entirely. Record everything, upload everything. Include the time, date, location, and if you can, their badge number. We already live in a panopticon, the least we can do is use it to our advantage as much as possible.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:34 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


There's no such thing as one bad apple. They're all bad, the entire barrel. Who will police the police?
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 1:47 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


"Impatience" appears to be implicated in many, many of the incidents I know about.
posted by rhizome at 1:51 PM on September 2


She had no choice but to submit to being arrested (and place her faith in a the system that would detect and reverse Officer Mouthbreather's errors with all due haste. You sometimes read about this in the papers where its referred to as being "Released without being charged")

It's nice that the system works well enough that charges can be avoided when police arrest someone for trivial or incorrect reasons. Or in this case because the police themselves are about to commit a crime and the arrest is essentially happening because they've lost perspective about that.

The fundamental problem here, though, is that it's not clear the system has detected and reversed the error by simply "released without being charged." Because even without charges, the abuse of the power to arrest is itself a problem.

An arrest itself is always personally disruptive. We give out that power anyway because the system can't work without it. I'm told an arrest record itself can be a problem and lead to higher scrutiny and disruption by police in any future interactions (and I'm not sure why we keep the system that way, tbh, rather than having be convictions and maaaybe charges actually brought to proceedings). And that's of course without any issues relating to extralegal abuses or lapses in care during custody.

So... how is the system detecting and reversing those issues? How does the system make sure it's making officers to whom it is clear that this is not OK? How often does an abuse like false arrest result in a conviction with consequences? I'm sure it's hard to tell if it's often enough. Low occurrences of that might just tell you that you have a sufficiently professional police force.

But then cases like this become visible. And you realize there's probably other cases that are invisible that have been passing without the same level of review or discussion that this one has, just as it seems this one had been before it was publicized by video....
posted by wildblueyonder at 2:06 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


I know W ruined this but the entire goddamned point of "one bad apple" is "it spoils the bunch and that's all the more reason to deal with it immediately
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:26 PM on September 2 [10 favorites]


When I watched this last night, I thought the dispute went from bad to battery when the voice coming over her phone warned the detective that he was making a big mistake by threatening a nurse.

He felt intimidated and dissed by that warning, lost his temper, and stepped forward to grab her phone or perhaps just to knock it out of her hand. We've allowed the police to train themselves to react with violence whenever their absolute domination and control of any situation is challenged whether there's any threat of physical violence or not, and that's exactly what he did.

Once he'd assaulted her another reflex kicked in, that to cover your ass, you must arrest and charge anybody you happen to get physical with whether they provoked it or not -- especially if they didn't provoke it, in fact.
posted by jamjam at 3:28 PM on September 2 [26 favorites]


Someone in a FB argument I'm following is insisting that anyone with a CDL has already given consent to blood tests even if unconscious? Can someone clarify this for me and/or point to evidence that this is untrue?


(Also, it'd be kind of great if we didn't do the "channel the sexist guy's sexist language while imagining his mindset" thing)
posted by TwoStride at 4:00 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


" Is there anywhere that is radically changing what the role of police is now that violent crime is no longer the threat it once was? Should we have "Emergency Service Teams" of social workers and nurses instead who can call on "traditional police" if their assessment of a science warrents it?"

Schools, to a degree. I was on the school board for one of the very few districts with its own chartered police department (for complicated historical reasons, and it'd probably be better not to have one). Anyway, near the end of my term, we hired on a new chief, who was awesomesauce, who was great with kids, and one of his first moves was to switch the cops out of "cop uniform" and into polo shirts. One of his next was to petition the board to take away their guns. (This led to a complicated lawsuit, but more or less succeeded.) Meanwhile, on his end, he was urging the Rambo-cop types to retire, and replacing them with people who'd become interested in policing by first being social workers and becoming interested in juvenile justice (who were almost all women). He was sending the traditional cops to social work trainings, and everyone who wanted to remain employed had to go to deescalation trainings. He himself got licensed as a paraprofessional so he could co-teach autoshop, and urged his officers to get their parapro licenses so they could sub or aide or teach or coach, and interact with the students as students, and build relationships as teachers and mentors and coaches, not just cops. He also proactively sought out potential officers who had grown up in the same neighborhoods as the kids (in a poor district, most of your professional employees (teachers, administrators, cops, skilled trades, etc., come from outside that community, and it's sad and relatively colonialist in a lot of ways) and were part of the kids' current support and kinship networks, and supported them through training.

Anyway he was an awesomesauce dream of a police chief, but many schools with cops in them (either as district cops or as city cops contracted into the district) are making similar changes, demanding cops with social work experience or background, passing on guys with rambo fantasies, seeking cops with backgrounds similar to the students, requiring a lot of deescalation training, etc.

(In many departments, "school cop" is a very plum assignment, sought out by cops with a specific interest in working with children, who are eager to get social work training and deescalation training and so on. In other departments, Rambo gang-busters think schools will be an awesome place to catch lots of gang bangers unarmed and teenaged, and they are super excited they get to be twice the size of the adolescent perps instead of having to face full-sized criminals who might make them feel less adequately Rambo. So you get a mix between dedicated, awesome cops who know a shit-ton about adolescents and are committed to getting teens in trouble through their toughest years intact, and literally the worst dudes on the force.)

In some ways juvenile policing seems like the thin edge of the wedge, where we can get changes made, because even law-&-order types will agree that kids often need services, not punishment, and we can work to get cops with social work backgrounds and deescalation training in juvenile justice roles, which helps normalize those methods of policing in the larger force, and makes communities more familiar with them.

Another program that some poorer cities are pursuing is what's called a "resident officer," where the police department buys a couple of houses in shitty neighborhoods, and a cop commits to move into it with his family and lives there for five years or whatever, and does a lot more beat work than most cops these days, and is available for neighbors to talk with him and report crimes and he gets to know neighborhood dynamics and so on. (These can be expensive programs; one of our resident cops in Peoria had his house shot at by drug dealers repeatedly, and the department had his baby's crib fitted with steel plates to stop bullets. FOR REALS.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:09 PM on September 2 [25 favorites]


TwoStride, a quick Google search of that question turns up a good point that in California a hemophiliac or a person taking anticoagulants cannot be compelled to submit to a blood test. IANAL but I read that to mean that if one is unconscious you can't perform the blood test because you have no way of knowing if the person has those medical restrictions.
posted by vignettist at 4:11 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


I live in Salt Lake City. I saw the shorter video last night, the one showing the initial conversation and arrest, but I hadn't seen the longer video until just now. The one where Watch Commander Lt. James Tracy delivers that patronizing and breathtakingly wrong-headed 'explanation' to Nurse Wubbels. What a shitty experience it must be to be assaulted and arrested by a meathead, then lectured by another meathead, simply for doing the right thing.

The city seems to be taking appropriate action, but it's a pity they waited until a month later, when the media attention arrived, to do anything. If you see the police interacting with a citizen, consider taking a video, even if discretely from a distance. Especially if things seem tense. If anything goes awry, share it with local news media. You might end up doing a solid for a stranger.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 4:23 PM on September 2 [12 favorites]


False Constitutional law as per Supreme Court

Regulations from CDL regulation say there must be a blood test in accidents involving fatalities (The person the police were chasing died in the accident). But they still require either consent or a warrant. If consent is not given there may be penalties from the regulator but refusing is not illegal or "breaking the law". For example, you can't be thrown in jail just for refusing a test required by your employer. They can probably fire you, maybe fine you, but they are not a court of law. More info (and dash cam of the actual accident) from CDLLife
posted by saucysault at 4:45 PM on September 2 [8 favorites]


TwoStride, the implied consent to a blood test is exactly what the Birchfield v. North Dakota decision covers. It's true that the operator of a commercial vehicle has implied consent to alcohol testing by federal law (also under state law it's probably universally true that every driver has also implied consent to alcohol testing). The Supreme Count made a distinction between breath testing and blood testing, breath testing is not obtrusive and cannot be refused but a warrant is required for blood testing even if the driver has implied consent.
posted by peeedro at 4:48 PM on September 2 [7 favorites]


I have looked at the CDL regs pertinent to this and I think there is a risk of overstating their relevance here. The duty of testing is on the business/manager, not the driver. The testing is supposed to occur when "practicable," which implies that other considerations may outweigh its priority (for example, being comatose). Once you miss the deadline (8 hrs or 30 hrs or whatever), the obligation stops.
posted by Mr. Justice at 4:59 PM on September 2


CDL is a commercial driver's license (to drive trucks and tractor trailers, etc), for anyone puzzled like me.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:30 PM on September 2


CDL is a commercial driver's license (to drive trucks and tractor trailers, etc), for anyone puzzled like me.

Argh. Thank you for pointing that out; I misunderstood CDL. My previous answer was in relation to a California driver's license.
posted by vignettist at 5:42 PM on September 2


The unconscious victim from the crash was driving a tractor trailer, so you can presume that he had a commercial driver's license.
posted by peeedro at 5:52 PM on September 2



The question I keep asking myself is that is it more valuable to society to have police or not to have police. Society did manage to exist before Peel and his cronies showed the west just what an organized police force could do.
My answer: yes. It's currently fashionable to say "fuck the police, we don't need no steenkin' bodges!" But unless you want to live in a libertarian paradise where everyone is responsible for their own safety, I think a well-regulated police force is necessary. Emphasis on the "well regulated," and we need to touch that up a bit. Body cameras are a good step in that direction (though, as usual, the simplest solution doesn't really work).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 18th century England was not really known as an egalitarian paradise. Or pretty much any other kind of paradise, unless you were an aristocrat, in which case things were peachy except no decent medical care, no internet, no water closets, no Warner Bros. cartoons, etc.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:22 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


2nd cop given free paid vacation

A second officer who was put on leave Friday has not been formally identified, but officials have said they were reviewing the conduct of Payne’s boss, a lieutenant who reportedly called for Wubbels’ arrest if she kept interfering.
posted by petebest at 7:26 PM on September 2 [5 favorites]


Once again we have proof that there is a right side to history.
posted by chavenet at 3:54 AM on September 3 [4 favorites]


My answer: yes. It's currently fashionable to say "fuck the police, we don't need no steenkin' bodges!" But unless you want to live in a libertarian paradise where everyone is responsible for their own safety

Well, I don't know about libertarian paradise, but the reality is that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.

Even after calling 911 while being attacked, and being told they're on their way. When they show up, then wait over an hour because they call Animal Control due to the dog, and you die because your assailant left a BED ON YOUR NECK. That's FINE.

The police had no legal duty to you anyway.

GRIESHABER v. CITY OF ALBANY
Regrettably, we are constrained to reverse Supreme Court's order, grant summary judgment in favor of defendant and dismiss the complaint.   Because the proper allocation of public resources and available police services is a matter for the executive and legislative branches to decide (see, Riss v. City of New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 581-582, 293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 860), the general rule has developed that a municipality cannot be held liable for negligence in the performance of police protection functions
tl:dr; 911's a Joke.
posted by mikelieman at 5:04 AM on September 3 [8 favorites]


The difference between a cop and an 18th century highwayman is that everyone agrees that the highwayman is doing something both illegal and morally wrong when he confiscates all your property or murders you for looking at him funny.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:25 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Alex Wubbels makes me proud to be a nurse.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:21 AM on September 3 [8 favorites]


The horror here, at least IMO, arrives when you consider what would have happened had there not been bodycam video. We would likely not be talking about it, not aware of it, and nothing would have happened to the perpetrator (that's "Officer" Payne, to be clear).

And I missed the comments on the video where other cops asked if they should turn their bodycams off. I don't have a lot of confidence that any real punishment will happen, but holy shit really? It's not just that they asked that, but that they asked it on video, which suggests that it's a pretty routine thing and they aren't particularly concerned about it, and might be doing some real-time video editing more or less continuously. So you have to also consider what goes on when the cameras aren't running, given that this is the sort of thing that was considered OK to roll tape on.

From a systems perspective, there's a bit of a Kronk-why-do-we-even-have-that-lever aspect to an on/off switch on a bodycam. Why do you even let people stop them from recording or turn them off? They should start running when they're taken out of the charger and stop running when they're put back in and when the video downloads, not a moment before. Having a control invites its use. If someone has to take the camera off and shove it in their pocket, it at least emphasizes that they are doing something that is contrary to the intent and purpose of the device; if you put a switch on the device, then obviously it is there to be switched, and doing it is consistent with the device's purpose. In this instance it is good that the bodycam and the accompanying footage was there, but we should consider that the manufacturers of bodycams know who their customers are, and are going to serve those customers, and those customers are not the general public and don't necessarily have the public's interest in mind.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:07 AM on September 3 [8 favorites]




GRIESHABER v. CITY OF ALBANY

why did i read this. i hate everything
posted by lwb at 4:10 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]




Ah yes, the fun position of trying to explain the law to law enforcement. I remember a particularly heated argument I had with the local sheriff explaining the laws about PR bonds in order to secure mental health treatment and his utter refusal to comply with them.

It ended with my boss telling him not to call us to see the people in their jail anymore if they weren't willing to comply with the law and follow our recommendations. Nothing further than that came from it, other than I got a "reputation" with the SO department and our working relationship got frostier. Because, as we all should know by now, there isn't a higher authority than a Sheriff to take a complaint to, unless you're willing to file suit.

In my position, as an agent of the State, I was put through extensive training on the law and my responsibilities under it, and regularly audited and subject to review on my documentation, etc. The cops? Pshaw. It IS their law as far as they know and they can do anything that doesn't draw public outrage and even then..see Arpaio.
posted by threeturtles at 7:54 PM on September 3 [8 favorites]


Shit, I made my post before watching the video. That guy should be fired with prejudice and his whole department should be under investigation. He shouldn't be a mall cop after this. I stand by my statement, fire them all. Start at the top.

I'm literally shaking. I think I'd have thrown a punch and ended up in jail.
posted by Sphinx at 8:10 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


From rhizome's link, above, to Owen Barcala's twitter feed, the cover-up theory is as follows (summarized):

1. Det. Payne engaged in a high speed chase against police dept policy.

2. The guy being chased veered into oncoming traffic and hit the victim/patient.

3. Normally, the completely innocent patient (once recovered) might have been expected to sue the police because the chase was conducted recklessly against police policy.

4. There was no need to "protect" the victim by taking his blood as the police maintained; rather, the reason the police wanted to take the patient's blood was hopefully to find some substance in his system that would then allow the police to cast the victim as partially negligent in the crash, thereby intimidating the victim from suing the police, or at least to reduce compensatory damages in any lawsuit.

5. Hence, the proposed theory is that the whole point of taking the patient's blood was to use it to cover-up for police negligence in the auto chase.

6. Which sounds pretty damn likely, especially given that the police phlebotomist surely had to know the dept policy against doing what he was trying to do, and his own statement that he had no probable cause to do it.
posted by darkstar at 8:51 PM on September 3 [24 favorites]


(Correction: I don't know that it was Det. Payne that engaged in the high speed chase. He was probably sent there by Watch Commander Tracy - the guy who ordered Payne to arrest the nurse - because Payne is a police phlebotomist.)
posted by darkstar at 10:40 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


This thread is getting so many sad and angry favorites on behalf of my late mom, a career nurse trained in Philadelphia and the Army, tough but gentle, fierce in her service to those in need, who'd be breathing fire over this.

How I miss her. How proud I am of her sister.
posted by Caxton1476 at 8:35 PM on September 4 [4 favorites]




Well, that was a bad experience, but at least OH GOD DAMMIT.
posted by Guy Smiley at 4:21 PM on September 5




Good lord. This guy is a mess. He has a moonlight job as a private ambulance driver and threatened the nurse with taking all the poor people to her hospital and the "good" patients to another hospital.

So for a the last month, while the police department has been sitting on its ass, this guy has been funneling patients to hospitals at his vicious whim. I see more lawsuits on the horizon from patients that were delayed treatment by driving out of the way to the wrong hospital.
posted by JackFlash at 6:45 PM on September 5 [10 favorites]


The Panopticon...works?

🍔
posted by Guy Smiley at 1:57 PM on September 6


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