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A cop’s perspective on Utah nurse arrest: So much wrong

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I’ve written before that “as the son and brother of heroic police officers, I know a little bit about law enforcement – exactly enough to know that I know practically nothing,” and most people know even less. As such, when I see negative press about a police officer, I react in one of two ways: either “that was completely, unquestionably justified based on even rudimentary knowledge of police work,” or “I’m not sure; let’s wait for more facts.”

On rare occasions, there’s a third response, which can be best characterized as “why on Earth did that cop just drag a Utah nurse out to his squad car after she refused to draw an unconscious patient’s blood without a warrant?” You might notice that this category is oddly specific. Like I said, it’s very rare.

On July 26, a nurse at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City defied a detective’s order to draw the blood of an unconscious truck driver who had collided head-on with a vehicle that was fleeing police. The suspect was killed in the crash, while the semi driver was rendered unconscious.

The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, informed Nurse Alex Wubbels that it was protocol to draw blood from any party involved in such an accident, but Wubbels countered (rightly) that it was against the law for her to do so without following search and seizure provisions under the 4th Amendment. Wubbels insisted that she would not comply with the officer’s demands without either a warrant or consent from the patient, or unless the patient were under arrest.

Payne became frustrated and placed Wubbels under arrest, forcibly escorting her to his car, where Wubbels waited until she was eventually released with no charges filed.

See the video for yourself here.

In my amateur opinion, the officer was clearly in the wrong and attempting to violate the basic human rights of both the nurse and the patient. But since I try to defer to expert testimony, I thought it would be best to criticize Detective Payne through the lens of experienced officers: my brother (B) and my dad (D).

Let’s take a look step by step, according to an adapted list of the metrics I’ve been given by police on how to react to police controversy:

What is the law:

B: “We have to get a warrant. … The reason for arrest is the thing that bothers me.”

D: “Clearly the cop overstepped his bounds. he violated her civil rights, the nurse’s, and attempted to violate somebody else’s civil rights.” Additionally, had Wubbels drawn the blood anyway, “the blood evidence would have become what they call in law ‘the fruit of the poisonous tree.’ It would then be thrown out as would their case, and justifiably so…because it was obtained contrary to the fourth amendment, because it violated their protection against unlawful search and seizure.”

Whose side of the story have I heard?

In other words, a lot has been made of Payne’s malfeasance. But did Wubbels do anything wrong?

B: “She did a good job requesting a warrant. When she was told she was under arrest, it would have helped if instead of trying to run away from the cop and screaming for help like she was being kidnapped, she asked for his supervisor and asked for a lawyer. I can’t blame her for being distressed, but when people act out like she did, rather than allow a huge scene to be made in the emergency room an officer is going to remove someone quickly. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but if people freak out then it escalates, and a simple arrest, even a false one, can turn into a struggle.”

Put yourself in the officer’s shoes:

Even if Payne were right about the protocol, what should he have done differently?

D: “Even if he thought the nurse was wrong, he had many other avenues to take other than to bully and arrest her. He knew that and clearly acted with malice and should be gone. … Other avenues…would have been to go above her head or get the warrant or place the person under arrest if they had any other probable cause and he could’ve then pulled the blood, or ask for another nurse to do it.

What are the police trained to do?

This is particularly important since many are calling for department-wide trainings on how to handle this sort of thing. Is that even necessary, or should the cop have known better?

D: “It’s basic training for him that would have told him that he was violating these people’s civil rights. Every cop knows you could not draw blood from somebody without their consent or without a warrant. That is elementary. … He acted like a thug, a common schoolyard bully.”

What should happen now?

D: “I believe the cop should be fired and the nurse should be compensated by the city. … Fire the clown and compensate that poor nurse who was treated as she was. The cop acted like a thug and a bully. That’s why I say fire him. He is the type you do not want in that profession.”

Wubbels has stated that she won’t be filing a suit against the city, but that doesn’t mean the city shouldn’t offer restitution as a show of good faith. The hospital has come to Wubbels’s defense, and it appears the situation is being dealt with responsibly.

Feel free to copy this pattern of evaluation for future police incidents. It helps deter immediate outrage and remain sufficiently objective. As we’ve seen here, it doesn’t automatically excuse the cop’s actions either. It always pays to be level headed amid controversy.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Matthew Oliver

    September 2, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I think you have neglected to address some of the more troubling police behaviors documented in this case. What is the responsibility of the other cops that stood by and watched as she and her rights were violated? Those cops swore an oath to protect and serve, who were they protecting? If a citizen had assaulted and absconded with her they would be arrested. Why has no one arrested Payne?

  2. Kimberly Davis

    September 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I would like to hear your, your dad’s, and your brothers response to the above please. I too was wondering why none of the other officers helped her?

  3. Vet eran (HwyFuzz)

    September 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    This is unusual since the discussion is in regards to implied consent. Something you give when you accept your license. They were checking to see that he had NO jntoxicants in his body which means there’s no PC or even RS to believe he was intoxicated. Many departments including mine have policies based on laws. In the NYPD it two hours from the time of arrest to test. As stated above – fruits of the poisonous tree would have tossed this case. Should we sit her and Monday morning QB and suggest the Detective be fired for this? No. Due process is a beautiful thing. If the three of you disagree with his discretion fine – but we all know how things work – department policy formed from case law both state and federal will be applied. If he was following the law and he applied his actions in good faith – well you may want to review how you Monday morning QB the cop next to you that does something that may aplear wrong but was within the legal scope of the law. I don’t know how much time you, your brother and dad have on the job. But with 30 plus years on these are points I would lay out to my sons.

    • Tim

      September 4, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      The implied consent agreements ONLY apply to “if you want to keep your license” which is a contract/civil agreement, NOT a criminal one. You can, even if awake, STILL say NO to the blood-draw — you just risk losing your license. So that was really a bad argument.
      The patient must give consent for the draw for it to be constitutional.
      You don’t need to prove you were NOT on drugs, they need to have probable cause that you were. All evidence with this crash showed it was primarily the fault of the criminal suspect driver (and possibly the pursuing police) and that the burn-victim was not at all at fault!

      FURTHER the implied consent was rendered unconstitutional on June 23, 2016 in the case of Birchfield v. North Dakota.

  4. Richie Angel

    September 4, 2017 at 12:19 am

    No Monday morning QBing here. The Supreme Court ruled in 2016 in Birchfield v. North Dakota that implied consent can only be justified for “warrantless breath tests incident to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests.” This was not an incident of arrest and the request was for a blood sample. Implied consent holds no water in this case.

  5. CB

    September 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I’ve found that when people say, “I don’t mean to sound like…(fill in the blank)” they usually are the thing they say they don’t mean to sound like, i.e. your brother being a jerk. When someone “freaks out” with an encounter with an officer, it SHOULD be in the officer’s training and skills to deescalate, not the opposite. Otherwise aren’t you (your brother) saying that only people who are accepting, nice and easy going when they are arrested, even falsely, are the acceptable arrestees? Ridiculous in my book and in my response, yes, I admit want to sound like a jerk because I won’t accept such a ludicrous response.

    I hope that any encounter I ever have hereto forward… is with your Dad or someone’s whose training, judgment, integrity and moral compass appears to be that of one with high standards such as his.

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Opinions

It isn’t Never-Trump or Always-Trump destroying conservatism, it’s Sometimes-Trump

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One of the craziest—or should I say laziest—accusations leveled against me by Trump’s die-hard loyalists whenever I dare to call him out for breaking a campaign promise, getting caught in a lie, or promoting unconstitutional non-conservative ideas, is that I’m a liberal. Sometimes, they go so far as to accuse me of working for George Soros.

As I’ve said many times in response, I don’t work for Mr. Soros, but since money’s been a little tight at the Strident Conservative lately, if anyone has his number, I’d appreciate it if you’d send it my way.

It’s a sad reality that these pathetic taunts are what passes for political discourse in the Age of Trump. Gone are the days when differences could be civilly discussed based on facts instead of emotion.

Another sad reality of this behavior is that it’s a sign that the end of conservatism is near, as Trump’s small army of loyal followers attempt to rebrand conservatism by spreading the lie that he is a conservative and, using binary logic, accusing anyone who opposes him of being a liberal.

This rebranding effort has had an impact. Last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel warned Republican hopefuls that anyone who opposed Trump’s agenda would be “making a mistake.”

McDaniel’s threat was issued following the GOP primary defeat in South Carolina by conservative Mark Sanford after he was personally targeted by Trump himself. Sanford’s crime? Disloyalty to the NY Liberal.

Another source of damage to conservatism has come from evangelicals and the so-called conservative media. In the name of self-preservation, they choose to surrender their principles by promoting the lie that Trump is a conservative. Some of these voices have taken to labelling conservatives who oppose Trump as Never-Trump conservatives, or worse, branding them as liberals and/or Democrats, as was recently written in a piece at TheFederalist.com:

“Trump may be an unattractive and deeply flawed messenger for contemporary conservatism. But loathe though they might be to admit it, what’s left of the Never-Trump movement needs to come to grips with the fact that the only words that currently describe them are liberals and Democrats.”

Then there are those who have adopted a Sometimes-Trump attitude about the president, where everything Trump does is measured using a good Trump/bad Trump barometer. While it has become fashionable for Sometimes-Trump conservatives to stand on their soap boxes condemning both Never-Trump conservatives and Always-Trump faux conservatives, I believe that this politically bipolar approach to Trump is the greatest threat of all to Constitutional conservatism in America.

Sometimes-Trump conservatives have accepted the lie that it’s okay to do a little evil in exchange for a greater good. Though they may fly a conservative banner, their lukewarm attitude about Trump is much like the attitude we see in the Laodicean church mentioned in the Book of Revelations (3:15-16).

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Trump is a double-minded man unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). When lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives choose to overlook this reality, they end up watering-down conservatism to the point that it has no value or power to change America’s course.

As lukewarm Sometimes-Trump conservatives point to the Always-Trump and Never-Trump factions as the reason for today’s conservative divide, remember that it’s the unenthusiastic, noncommittal, indifferent, half-hearted, apathetic, uninterested, unconcerned, lackadaisical, passionless, laid back, couldn’t-care-less conservative imposters in the middle who are really responsible.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Immigration

House proposal makes DACA permanent and grants citizenship to illegals

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When Donald Trump issued an executive order in Sept. 2017 rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order issued by Barack Obama, he was cheered by his adoring fans for appearing to keep one of his campaign promises regarding the illegal immigration problem. However, as the old saying goes, appearances can be deceiving.

The reason I call it deceiving is because Trump’s order was merely a technicality—sort of a Rescind-In-Name-Only moment—used to buy the time necessary to make DACA permanent, which has been his “big heart” goal from the beginning.

Of course, any permanent legislation needs to come from Congress, which should have been problematic for Republicans who campaigned for years against Obama’s handling of illegal immigration. But in today’s Republican party—owned and operated by Trump—such commitments have become secondary to the requirement to please Dear Leader.

For example, just days after Trump’s deceptive order, Mitch McConnell went on record in support of negotiation with Democrats and the president—but I repeat myself—to save DACA and create an amnesty plan and eventual citizenship for approximately 1.8 million DREAMers.

Though past attempts have failed, election-season fever is sweeping Washington, so Trump and Republican party loyalists are making another push to get the job done.

After conducting several days of Nancy Pelosi-style meetings behind closed doors, Paul Ryan released an immigration plan yesterday that will legally protect DREAMers while also providing over $23 billion for another Trump promise—a border wall.

Wait a minute! I though Trump promised us that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. I suppose that’s just another in-name-only moment for the New York liberal.

Back to the House proposal. DREAMers can apply for “nonimmigrant status” which is essentially a newfangled way to say visa. The extra visas necessary to handle these requests will be available due to new restrictions that will lower the number of legal immigrant applications, which means legal immigrants will be effectively moved to the back of the line.

But that’s not the worst part.

Once obtained, these visas become the first step on a pathway to citizenship, which means that years down the road, 1.8 million illegals—probably more—will have jumped the line to US citizenship ahead of legal immigrants, despite the rhetoric from Trump and the GOP claiming otherwise.

Though this proposal may or may not pass, making DACA permanent and creating a pathway to citizenship are broken promises. But as I wrote a few days ago, breaking promises has become a job requirement in the age of Trump and today’s GOP.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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