Search and Seizure

Lawyer: Warrantless Blood Draw Stopped by Utah Nurse Was Legal in Another Reality

The facts and the law are on Alex Wubbels' side.

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Alex Wubbels, the Salt Lake City nurse who was arrested on video after she refused to let a cop draw blood from an unconscious patient without consent or a warrant, has been widely praised for taking a stand against unconstitutional invasions of privacy. Her admirers do not include Gregg Re, a lawyer who argues in a recent Daily Caller piece, provocatively headlined "Arrested Utah Nurse Had It Coming," that "Wubbels was likely legally wrong under federal law." But Re cannot back up that contrarian claim without resorting to hypotheticals that do not bear any resemblance to this case.

Suppose "your neighbor bursts through your front door with a pile of drugs in his hands," Re says. The neighbor is trailed by cops who demand entry as he flushes the drugs down your toilet. If you refuse to let the cops in, Re says, they would be justified in entering anyway and might even arrest you if you tried to interfere. The point, he says, is that "police simply do not need a warrant if exigent circumstances justify an urgent search and seizure of evidence."

That scenario is a red herring, because Re never explains how Wubbels resembles the drug dealer's uncooperative neighbor. In particular, he fails to describe the exigent circumstances that supposedly justified Det. Jeff Payne's demand for her patient's blood, relying unstead on inapplicable generalities. "The imminent loss of blood evidence, which would be useful in a drunk-driving case, qualifies as a potentially exigent circumstance," Re writes. Potentially, yes. Necessarily, no.

In the 2013 case Missouri v. McNeely, the Supreme Court said "the natural dissipation of blood alcohol" does not automatically provide the exigent circumstances that would justify a nonconsensual, warrantless blood draw in a drunk driving case. "When officers in drunk-driving investigations can reasonably obtain a warrant before having a blood sample drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy of the search, the Fourth Amendment mandates that they do so," the Court said. "While the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood may support a finding of exigency in a specific case…it does not do so categorically. Whether a warrantless blood test of a drunk-driving suspect is reasonable must be determined case by case based on the totality of the circumstances."

Re suggests the totality of the circumstances in the Utah case might have justified Payne's attempt to draw blood from William Gray, a truck driver who was critically injured in a crash with a vehicle driven by a man who was fleeing police. But as Scott Greenfield notes, "there was no attempt to obtain a warrant for the blood draw or reason why a warrant could not be obtained within a time frame sufficient to preserve the evidence." What's more, Gray was not a suspect in a drunk driving case; he was the victim of the other driver, who was killed in the crash.

That fact, Re concedes, "raises questions as to whether it was legally reasonable for the police to obtain his blood sample if he was, in fact, a victim not suspected of any crime." Payne reportedly wanted Gray's blood to help show that he bore no responsibility for the collision. That goal does not qualify as probable cause for a search and seizure, which requires a "fair probability" that evidence of a crime will be discovered.

In short, although probable cause and exigent circumstances can justify a nonconsensual, warrantless blood draw, there is no evidence that either existed in this case. Presumably that's why, although Payne handcuffed Wubbels while accusing her of interfering with his investigation, no charges were filed against the nurse. It is also why Payne, who is on administrative leave while his department conducts an investigation of his behavior, could face criminal charges instead.

Re aims to throw cold water on the "near-universal outrage" provoked by Wubbels' arrest and correct "reams of inaccurate reporting on the incident." Instead he muddies the issue by arguing that Payne's actions could have been legal if the facts were different.

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  1. Yes, I read this yesterday. Like most hot takes, it’s best for everyone – including its author – to just ignore it and move on.

    1. This guy is apparently a real lawyer being stupid in his field of expertise. It really should not be ignored.

      1. Sometimes a douchey weasel is exactly what you need at the table next to you.

        1. LOL! A weasel that smells like stawberries.

  2. “That scenario is a red herring, because Re never explains how Wubbels resembles the drug dealer’s uncooperative neighbor.”

    Thank you; “red herring” is too kind for that sort of obvious bullshit.

    1. ^^ This

      Of course there’s a reason people think lawyers are scum.

      1. You know who else people thought was scum?

        1. Stuff floating in ponds?

        2. Innocent bar patrons at Mos Eisley?

        3. Drill Sergeants! Now drop!

      2. Well to be fair there should be a lawyer arguing the other side also.

  3. Huh, an authoritarian bootlicker on the Daily Caller? Will wonders never cease.

    1. Oh, him and those who post comments on their Facebook page. They would all assure you the police can do no wrong.

    2. I laughed at bootlicker because this Re guy sounds like he’d really enjoy a dominatrix.

  4. If the situation were different, the cop would be in the right, so why is everyone freaking out about this?

    1. exactly. Let me try.

      When the cops shot that woman in Minneapolis it was justified because what if she pulled an uzi on the cop and threatened to blow his head off, then they would be justified in killing her so therefore in this situation it was OK.

      Wow, that was easy.

    2. The situation would have had to have been *WAAAAAY* different. The patient wasn’t suspected of anything other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other driver, the one running from the cops, swerved into his lane and hit him head on. Plus the hospital explicitly accepted electronic warrants. The hospital and the local police had formally agreed that one of three criteria be met … if the patient is aware, they can voluntarily consent. If not then the police must have either arrested him or have even a warrant, even an electronic warrant. None of the three possibilities existed and the officer admitted that.

    3. If the situation was different then the actions would be different.

      If the patient was under arrest or the officer had a warrant, then the nurse would have complied. She said so herself repeatedly to the officers in the videos that have been released. However, the patient wasn’t under arrest. He wasn’t even a suspect in a crime. There was no warrant. As mentioned, there was no basis for getting one since he was the victim of someone else’s crime.

      The fact that multiple officers would agree to not only just ignore the 4th amendment, but arrest those who tried to stop them while quoting the appropriate law is not only disheartening, but infuriating.

      1. It does however open up avenues for those under-employed attorneys to be kept on retainer as hospital staff.

        Even the law and order crowd who at least in the abstract agree with the cop have reservations about the methods. Quite simply the officer could not bear the burden of responsibility should something have gone wrong as he isn’t a hospital employee. Cop or no cop, it is equivalent of some stranger out of the blue saying “trust me, I’m a doctor” and proceeding to treat the man. In the hospital.

        That’s how wack the situation is.

        I would hope the licensing board (err, wait, libertarians are against occupational licensing…) is reviewing the officer’s phlebotomy certificate gravely as there is a clear conflict of interest in what the officer chose. Given his severe lack judgement, the officer shouldn’t be burdened with anything much more involved than a Wal-mart greeter.

        No, wait, even that has rules the officer would have to comply with.

    4. Looters and mystics special plead in the same key, and the lyrics never change: “Assume reality isn’t what it is… Now do you see how the initiation of force is ALWAYS the only answer?”

  5. You’re correct of course, Mr. Sullum, but I think you give the Daily Caller too much credit by assuming that article was advancing an argument in good faith. It was clickbait trash published by hacks to generate outrage clicks. It’s as worthy of intellectual engagement as your average thinkpiece on the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass.

        1. To get to the center?

          1. Eeeewwwww
            *teenage girl everybody*

  6. According to his argument cops could randomly stop drivers and take their blood to prove they weren’t doing anything illegal.

    1. Evidently you also read Gregg Re’s sophism.

      I want to add that I was quite surprised by the number of commentators at the Daily Caller who criticized the article and sided with nurse Wubbels/the law as written.

      1. I have yet to see anyone take the cop’s side for once. Except for this lawyer who probably wasn’t arguing in good faith. Some people just need to be contrarians.

        1. I’ll take it. This wasn’t an instance where the injured driver was suspected of anything. Placing it in a realm none of those commenting on it are contemplating.
          Just as with a “Miranda” warning – despite what you see on TV – things such as that, warrants and consent, are required in those circumstances for someone suspected of a crime.
          The officer was trying to collect all information about the incident he could, including if the injured driver, should civil litigation be brought against him – such things do happen – could be shown to not have anything in his system that would impair his ability to avoid the crash.
          As a certified phlebotomist, he was going to draw blood from a person, whom he could reasonably expect would want to have that blood drawn.
          Has anyone asked the injured man, if he would have wanted to have such exonerating evidence? In the hysteria that ensued, I doubt he would be honest, but if the lawsuit happens, he will not be happy if he is found to be, even partially negligent.
          The nurse prevented the officer from performing his duties as he saw fit. That’s obstruction. She wasn’t, briefly arrested for refusing to draw blood, but for obstructing the officer from doing what he had been certified to safely do.

          1. “The nurse prevented the officer from performing his duties as he saw fit.”

            Which a citizen on private property has the right to do, as long as the officer does not have a warrant or court order permitting him to intrude without the citizen’s consent. As you pointed out, the patient was not a suspect. It was not a crime scene investigation. The officer had no right to be there without permission.

            1. > for obstructing the officer from doing what he had been certified to safely do.

              Irrelevant. It has been settled law for at least a century that ANY search or seizure absent a warrant is on its face, unreasonable. Later, courts added exceptions for exigent circumstances, but still, probable cause is absolutely essential.

          2. > As a certified phlebotomist, he was going to draw blood from a person, whom he could reasonably expect would want to have that blood drawn.

            No, he cannot reasonably expect that. Dude’s in the hospital, under their care. Does he want some do-gooder barging in and poking him against the wishes of and completely outside the authority of his care givers while unconscious?

            Give me a break.

          3. > The nurse prevented the officer from performing his duties as he saw fit

            Nope, again. Cop had absolutely NO DUTY here. He wanted to help out his brothers in the adjacent jurisdiction, he was under no obligation to do so.

        2. I disagree that some people just need to be contrarians.

          Hey, someone had to say it.

          1. You’re wrong.

      2. Calling it sophism gives that pinhead far too much credit.

        -jcr

        1. Which pinhead? Gregg or the Hitlerjugend retiree?

        2. Which pinhead? Gregg or the Hitlerjugend retiree?

  7. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that cop was injured, had to go to that ER, and be at the mercy of the staff that he bullied. One can dream.

    1. If Nurse Wubbels is a good example of the staff l, they are likely too professional for such petty vengeance.

      1. I would expect so. Unlike many cops, medical professionals tend to take their duty to take care of people and do their jobs properly seriously.

        1. Yeah, people with stab wounds, drug abusers, overeaters, etc. get to the ER – many of them end up not paying their bill – they have to be focused on patient care and not punishing bad decisions.

          Of course it may be a bit more personal if the patient once attacked them personally, but I generally trust them to rise above such considerations.

          But I would not recommend assaulting medical personnel anyway, just to be on the safe side.

        2. Medical people have a real license on the line. If they fuck up, their license is gone and can’t just go to another state like nothing happened. They’re done.

          They are not like our Brave Heros In Blue, where killing someone could mean being fired, then having to find another job as a cop.

      2. Still, they could chuckle when his pants are taken off or something.

        1. Or at least have a doc order a forced catheterization or something, you know, for his own good. .

          1. That should be followed with a prostrate exam immediately!

            1. Three fingers, doc. That’s the newest in medical science.

              1. Emergency colonoscopy!! Stat!!!!

  8. Re also mentions eventually that the Utah Supreme Court seems to have higher standards than the U. S. Supreme Court. The U. S. Supremes set a floor, not a ceiling, for legal rights.

    1. “Utah’s courts have, however, imposed stricter standards than the federal requirement.”

      OK, then, genius, you should have discussed Utah’s standards.

  9. Basically Re is saying exigent circumstances can exist, so the nurse cannot gainsay the cop no matter what the hospital policy is or whether there are exigent circumstances. The hospital staff must bend to the police officer’s will. He does not see a need to prove circumstances because that is up to lawyers. The layman has no opinion without the legal elite.

    1. It’s that new police professionalism we’ve heard about. You can trust them. Honest.

    2. That’s the attitude police officers are trained to take. The Police Must Always Win. They always get to get their man; they always get to seize their evidence; they always get to do what they have to do to feel safe. If anyone’s rights are violated or anyone is injured or killed in the process of the police doing whatever is necessary for them to Win, the injured parties can settle that with city’s lawyers later. Under no circumstances may citizens argue or disobey at the point of impact. The idea that it might work the other way around?that a citizen’s arguing or disobeying can be dealt with through the legal process if it turns out they were wrong, and so the police can back down at the point of impact and settle the matter later?does not even cross their minds. They are trained to see themselves as different and special and above regular citizens. That’s why the officer in this case had no hesitation to behave as he did, even with the cameras rolling.

      1. That sums it up nicely.

    3. He admitted to his colleague at the beginning of the video that he didn’t have probable cause, which is what exigent circumstances is based on Maybe Re didn’t see the video, but didn’t let that detail stop him from opining.

    4. I’d like to see these nurses packing some heat, just to level the playing field a tad, maybe shorten a few obstreperous dicks.

  10. So basically the cops were willing to arrest

    (a) a nurse who was protecting
    (b) an unconscious victim who
    (c) was not a suspect and
    (d) was himself a cop
    (e) from a warrantless invasion of privacy
    (f) with body cameras rolling

    It’s like a whole medley of sympathetic circumstances which they knew was being caught on camera – yet they still did it.

    Imagine what they do to less sympathetic victims when the cameras happen (by accident of course) to be turned off.

    1. “…yet they still did it…”

      Pub Sec Unions. ‘Nuff said.

    2. How could the nurse have known whether the patient was a suspect or not? Did she know all the circumstances of the accident? For that matter, how could the officer have known? He was assisting another agency and relying on their PC (note: he did call them) It was the other agency investigating the accident. He was only there to do a blood draw because he happens to be a trained police phlebotomist (I’m assuming the other agency did not have one) IF she physically obstructed, she was out-of-bounds.

      1. It’s possible the victim made it to the hospital in some sort of emergency vehicle. An ambulance, perhaps, one that might have been driven by people who were at the scene of the accident and received information from the cops on what happened.

        Doesn’t matter either way. If the hospital wanted clarification on whether there was an exigent circumstance, all the cop had to do was get the other department on the line. He was shown the policy to which his department agreed. The burden of proof to show exigent circumstances then falls on him.

        But instead the king’s man decided to kidnap someone.

      2. You are, of course, right.
        The fact that the police have to have someone, certified to draw blood, is telling on its own.
        Sounds like they have had trouble at this hospital with the medical people playing SJW and not following instructions to obtain evidence. That there is some kind of extra-legal agreement between the police and the hospital is another indication of the same thing.
        The whole story is not being told, here – surprise, surprise!
        And, in this case, they got all SJW to “protect” this patent when it seems that the officer was trying to do just that by getting proof, to possibly be used later, that he wasn’t under the influence, when the suspect crashed into his truck.

        1. Sounds like they have had trouble at this hospital with the medical people playing SJW and not following instructions to obtain evidence.

          Oh, fuck you. We owe no duty of obedience to cops.

          -jcr

        2. His good intentions, if any, do not justify endangering and violating the rights of a citizen by using force against her without justification.

          Oh, and fuck you. We owe no duty of obedience to cops.

    3. Exactly. The fucker even admitted “I’ve never had to go this far before.” Apparently he’s always been able to bully and bluff his way through until he met Webbels.

  11. Here’s a hot take for y’all: Gregg Re is a disingenuous asshole.

      1. That is a delightful shade of yellow on those teeth!

      2. I think he has political ambitions, and therefore needs the pig union backing.

        He may just be a contrarion, but he may have calculated that he should signal he reliably “Backs the Bloooo”?

  12. The inconvenient possibility glossed over by such arguments is that many law enforcement practices surrounding drunk driving are flagrantly unconstitutional.

    1. Look at Tony, pretending to care about constitutionality for the first time ever.

      1. Oh well I guess you don’t want my support on this issue. I guess since you’re being an asshole I might have to go someplace else, say the MADD website, and see what they have to say.

        1. Look at Tony, pretending his contributions to Hit’n’Run are valuable and would be missed.

          1. Try to see the broader point.

            “If you don’t agree with me on literally everything, you’re an asshole who should fuck off.”

            “Why won’t anyone buy into my political philosophy? I’m sad, someone give me a gummy bear. Oh, I have no friends.”

            1. Oh Tony, not agreeing with me on “literally everything” isn’t what makes you an asshole. Being an asshole is what makes you an asshole.

              Fuck along, now.

              1. This is the political philosophy for assholes, though.

                1. What an original, relevant, and insightful comeback.

                2. Pretty much why I’m a libertarian.

                3. Mass-murdering people who disagree with your vision for the world is the political philosophy of the totally woke and tolerant, yup yup yup!

                4. This is the political philosophy for assholes, though.

                  No, that would be marxism. Can’t get any more assholish than cheerleading for the murderers of well over a hundred million people and counting.

                  -jcr

              2. Thank you for that. I needed a good chuckle.

              3. Stop picking on Tony. If he leaves, I’ll have to find a new outlet for my snark.

    2. Look at the mental midgets, pretending Tony doesn’t finally have a valid point! I will be thrilled if Uber, Megabus and Google cars reduce all those asset-forfeiture bluebottles to rolling lawyers on skid row. May the next prostitute that cop bullies turn out to be a Lorena Bobbitt copycat!

  13. Shorter Gregg Re: If things were different, they wouldn’t be the way that they are.

    And folks say a law school education is a waste of time and money

  14. Re suggests the totality of the circumstances in the Utah case might have justified Payne’s attempt to draw blood

    He then benchpressed a truck with Morgan Fairchild sitting inside it.

    1. Ding, ding, ding.

      There is no Gregg Re, it’s a Dunphy sockpuppet.

  15. Maybe the cop isn’t drawing blood now, but I bet he’s still drawing a paycheck.

    1. This happened during his other police job, which he was fired from, but he still has his main police job.

      1. So he lost one of his jobs over it? That’s serious business. Do they have arbitration in Utah?

        1. It was ambulance driver. They obviously have more integrity than the police department.

  16. Wouldn’t normal procedure in an ER be to take blood samples for labs BEFORE any medical work – aside from emergency life-saving work – is performed? Docs have to know what’s in the guy before they administer drugs. I wonder if a lab test for BAC is part of an ER lab regimen anyway. I’m NOT suggesting that the LEO should have access to any tests already being performed as part of ER policy & regimen, but if this is done, seems there’s plenty of time for a warrant of LEO’s want to get one, and not worry about the sample’s BAC drifting away.

    1. He was badly burned, so I assume pain medication was in order before he went into shock.

    2. Apparently blood was drawn before they started work on hi m. The detective still did not bother with a warrant most likely be aduse hd could not justify u2t.

  17. Payne broke the law, knowingly. He kidnapped Wubbels. The other police officers present knew he was doing this and did nothing to prevent it.

    Payne should be charged under Utah law with kidnapping, a felony. Payne, and the other police officers present should be charged under Utah law with conspiracy to kidnap, also a felony.

    The police officers present (all of them) should be charged federally under 42USC1983, depriving a person of their rights under color of authority. They also should be charged under 42USC1985, sections 2 and 3 for conspiracy to deprive her of her rights.

    The Mayor and Chief of Police of SLC, and the SLC police department should be charged under the Organized Crime Control Act (the RICO statute) as an ongoing criminal organization that deprives people of their rights. The two predicate acts are kidnapping and conspiracy to kidnap, we can also include slavery and obstruction of justice. Since the SLC government and PD did nothing about this until it became public (more than a month later) they clearly conspired in its coverup.

    1. The other people who looked like officers were actually the hospital security staff. There were only two actual police officers there (well, three if you count the fact that the person they were demanding the blood of was also a part time officer in a different jurisdiction, but I doubt anyone knew that at the time).

    2. No one has to charge you. You’ve already proven yourself to be an idiot.
      Though, truthfully: To label you an idiot would be an insult to all those in “the lowest order in a classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.”

      1. Found the pig.

        -jcr

        1. Hey, retiredfire, you do know that cops routinely arrest fire and other first responders for doing their jobs if it happens to mildly inconvenience the cop.

    3. Finally! A commenter who owns a law book and knows how to read it! Dura lex, sed lex!

  18. Exigent circumstances PLUS probable cause allows for a warrantless search. Probable cause is still a requirement, otherwise the search is illegal and subject to the exclusionary rule. The exigent circumstances only allow for a search when a warrant could otherwise be had if there was time permitting. Its the time sensitive nature of the circumstances that permits the search in the absence of a warrant, but it doesn’t remove the requirements that would satisfy obtaining a warrant in the first place. Our lawyer friend should know this.

    But they weren’t obtaining evidence for a criminal trial. They wanted it for a potential defense in a civil suit. And the exclusionary rule doesn’t (usually) apply in a civil trial, so it didn’t matter to the police whether the search would hold up under 4th Amenment law. They could still use it in a civil trial even if it would be excluded from a criminal prosecution.

    1. The patient could, however request its exclusion as being done in violation of his privacy rights…if it was to be used to inculpate him.
      That’s the big “if”.
      IF, however, it was to be used to immunize him, should a civil suit be brought against him, his employer, or the insurance company, then it would be valuable evidence.
      And anyone who can’t contemplate such a civil suit just hasn’t been paying attention. I can assure you plenty of cops have seen it happen.

      1. should a civil suit be brought against him, his employer, or the insurance company, then it would be valuable evidence.

        And anyone who can’t contemplate such a civil suit just hasn’t been paying attention. I can assure you plenty of cops have seen it happen.

        Hol. E. Fuck. Since when are local PDs tasked with collecting exculpatory evidence, proactively, on the part of arbitrary entities not directly involved (if, in the case of self-employment, they even exist) and/or without any evidence of a request from those entities? If my insurance company wants some of my blood, they ask for it. If they want some in case of an accident, they tack on a rider saying that it will be collected and/or what tests will be run. Otherwise, they happily wait for the toxicology reports after the fact, just like my employer, business partners, employees, neighbors, etc. would. None of them get to generally issue warrants for officers to go collect it and do a workup in state-run labs.

        You’re not exonerating the officer as much as making yourself look like a lying asshole.

      2. Right, let’s all just ignore the fact that this thug attacked an innocent woman who was obeying the law, since you were able to concoct a fantasy in which having his 4th amendment rights violated might possibly prove advantageous to the unconscious victim.

        As mendacious assholes go, you’re in the all-time top two for this site, and you’ve got some serious competition.

        -jcr

      3. I’m curious as to when the driver authorized Payne to be his agent for evidence collection in case of a civil suit? And since we are discussing civil, not criminal, law; what is legal standard for an officer to collect a blood sample in that instance? You seem to be mixing and matching two very different legal standards.

        Is there reason to suspect a conflict of interest as the driver was involved in a crash resulting from a police pursuit? Why would the driver need to indemnify himself in that instance as he was not the cause of the crash?

        Why did the driver’s own police department praise the nurse for protecting his constitutional rights? It appears law enforcement is not uniform on the need to collect blood.

        Why wasn’t a judge simply called and an electronic warrant issued? I mean the police did have that option available to them, so why wasn’t that venue pursued?

        Further, as the argument is that the blood should have been collected and the legality could have been argued in court; the opposite is also true- the blood could not have been collected and the legality can be addressed by law makers later. Why isn’t this just as valid?

        1. No warrant was pursued because no reasonable judge would have granted one.

          Cop: “Hey judge, we need a warrant”

          Judge: “What for?”

          Cop: “We were chasing Jones at high speed and he ran into Smith. We need a warrant to stab Smith and take his blood”

          Judge: “What is your current location? I’m sending a team to arrest you.”

      4. Wow. Just. Wow. I am astounded at the mental contortions and confabulations retiredfire has accomplished.

  19. “could have been legal IF the facts were different”/
    Nice try at trashing ALL of our civil liberties and constitutional protections.

    The FACTS were as they were. Niether the coppers nor this dweed can change them. (a good thing, I believe>…)
    Straight up, that copper had NO articulable probable cause to float to any magistrate in seeking a warrant. Truck was running along road, cop’s fleeing suspect crashed into it, truck was wrecked, driver extricated and sent to hospital for triage and medical care.

    If the EMT’s at the scene had noticed booze bottles, smelled alcohol, etc, THEY would have been within legal limits to do a blood draw and submit that along with their reasons and what they saw. Pictures of the bottles, etc, would help.

    Copper knew he was in a tight spot, and was desparately trying to find a way to cover HIS stupid backside. When a fleeing suspect begins to pose a threat to other innocents, time to back off. That’s written into the Rules for Cops.
    I am SO glad that nurse is a woman of strong character. She stood her ground, protecting HER patient

    1. > copper had NO articulable probable cause to float to any magistrate in seeking a warrant

      and he KNEW AND ADMITTED SUCH on camera.

    2. Yeah, dude, like in an alternate reality, ya know? Like where Germany wins Tha Big One. Offissa Lugosi and the ambulance chaser at least know speculative pulp sci-fi.

  20. Tony|9.6.17 @ 3:47PM|#
    “Try to see the broader point.”

    That’s easy.
    You’re an imbecilic lefty who is in love with government thuggery and mass murder, all so you can feel good about your pathetic existence.
    But also someone who occasionally finds an acorn and wishes all was forgiven as a result.
    Fuck off, imbecile.

    1. Nobody likes you. Not even your mother. You can’t find a girlfriend because you have extremely poor sanitary habits.

      1. Talking to your mirror again, Tony?

        -jcr

  21. The fact is, she tried several times to get the local authorities to do something about this BEFORE she went nuclear. They didn’t. This happened in July, so they knew and brushed her off for at least a month. She just expected them to be treated like she would be treated if she fucked up while “on the job”. They did nothing.

    Another fact is, they were wrong, knew they were wrong and assaulted a nurse anyway. And that oh so professional LT tried his best to intimidate her at the squad car. His ass needs to be fired as well. ALL of the cops present should be fired and barred from the profession.

    Just take a moment and think what these professionals do “off camera”.

    1. It was the “local authorities” investigating the accident. It was THEIR PC the search was being based upon. This officer was from another agency and only there because he happened to be a trained police phlebotomist. He was there to do the blood draw himself. IF she physically obstructed she was lawfully subject to restraint. IF she did not and it was just verbal refusal… the officer should have just stepped around her and proceeded with his duties.

      1. Horsehit.

        THERE.

        WAS.

        NO.

        PROBABLE.

        CAUSE.

        Payne knew this and admitted to such ON CAMERA.

  22. This officer was not the primary investigator, he was assisting another LE agency because he is a trained police phlebotomist (I’m guessing they did not have one of their own on staff?) The other agency was telling him they had PC. He may not have known all of the circumstances of the accident. it was not this nurses role to stand in judgement of whether the police officer had PC. Can’t see how she could have known all the circumstances of the accident either. She can show him the hospital policy, refuse to do the blood draw herself, instruct her staff not to help, verbally refuse consent, but she cannot physically obstruct the officer so long as the blood draw did not present a physical hazard to the patient. The officer is a trained phlebotomist, he can do it himself. The officer should have just stepped around her and went on to perform his duty, assuming he thought he had PC. Argue it in court later. Now, IF the nurse physically obstructed the officer in any way,then yes, she is properly subject to lawful restraint for obstruction. If she did not, the officer should have just stepped around her and gone about his duties. Lastly, whether as to the arrest itself, I believe from viewing the video the officer was overly aggressive in his handling of her. The degree of aggression I seemed unwarranted given so far as I could tell from the video.

    1. No, you fascist idiot, the police may NOT barge into a business, home, or institution and do as they please or start giving orders when NO crime has taken place there, NO crime is in progress, and NO ONE there is suspected of a crime and subject to arrest. Without a warrant or court order allowing the intrusion, the hospital staff had every right to obstruct the officer and tell him to get the hell out, and the officer had no right to use force against anyone or to remain after being told to get out.

      “Argue it in court later.”

      Yes. If the officer and his department really believed they had been illegally obstructed, they could have pursued charges against the nurse or other staff later. There was no excuse for putting their hands on her. Notice that didn’t happen?no charges have been filed against the nurse.

      1. It’s been awhile since medical terminology class. Is phlebotomy anything like craniometry?
        And what about the guy the cops harried to death… was he charged with anything or a suspect in some sort of lawbreaking–besides having a Latino-sounding name?

    2. > The other agency was telling him they had PC.

      This is an egregious lie.

      >He may not have known all of the circumstances of the accident.

      He did know that he didn’t have probable cause. Verbally admitted on camera.

      > she cannot physically obstruct the officer so long as the blood draw did not present a physical hazard to the patient

      She sure as hell can, she didn’t, but she could.

      > assuming he thought he had PC

      Again, dumbshit, he knew that he did not.

  23. The issue of whether there was PC or not is a red herring. Neither the nurse nor the officer could have known because neither knew the circumstances of the investigation. Argue it in court lager. The officer was not the primary investigator of the accident, he was there on behalf of another agency as a trained phlebotomist to do the blood draw. The only real issue here is whether the nurse physically obstructed the officer or not.

    1. “It’s totes okay because the po-po man was ignorant and besides he was just following orders!”

    2. > The issue of whether there was PC or not is a red herring

      No, it’s not. It’s moot because HE KNEW THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE PC. Articulated on camera.

  24. The patient was a commercial truck driver. Section 1.3 of the Utah Commercial Driver’s License Handbook states that “If you operate a CMV [commercial vehicle], you shall be deemed to have given your consent to alcohol testing,”

    1. He was from Idaho and did not have a CDL issued by the state of Utah. Keep swinging though!

      1. When you drive interstate, you are subject to the vehicle code of the state you are in.
        Looks like the ump at first base says O40VOF didn’t go around.

        1. When O40VOF cites Utah Commercial Driver’s License Handbook, “Section 1.3 – Disqualifications” what he really meant to say was “Section 1.3.2 ? Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Commission of a Felony”.

          The patient didn’t leave the scene, wasn’t suspected of drunk driving, and didn’t commit a felony any/all of which was covered by the ‘agreement’ with the local hospital you disingenuous lying assholes.

  25. I’ll go a step further and say the law here, while interesting, seems beside the point:
    1) Lets say Payne was correct that a sample was legal to take…why didn’t he or his superiors simply discuss this with the nurse’s superiors and get resolution ? She is waving an agreement the hospital has with HIS OWN F***ING DEPARTMENT, and so is caught in the middle of something that should/could have been resolved far more professionally, and at the level of the hospital’s lawyers/admin, not the first nurse the bumped in to.
    2) Even if legal to take, gotta wonder about the validity of a blood sample taken from a patient already admitted (and administered who-knows-what) versus a sample taken at the scene. By “wonder” I mean “looks inadmissible because I watched every season of CSI and am therefore an expert.”

    1. #1. Doesn’t it sound the least bit suspicious that there needed to be an “agreement” between the hospital and the police regarding drawing of blood from suspected drunk drivers?
      Like the hospital staff had been going all SJW in trying to prohibit the police from obtaining evidence to be used in such cases?
      In this case, however, it seems the “agreement”, which has no force of law, wasn’t needed, since the patient wasn’t suspected of drunk driving and the cop was, by his own admission was trying to get evidence that he wasn’t under the influence, in case there was a civil suit against him.
      #2. Medical people keep records of what has been administered, and when. A full toxicology report would be able to exclude those substances and leave any remaining, or not there, as valid evidence – but only if done before time had expired for the body to metabolize anything – thus the exigent circumstance.

      1. #1. Doesn’t it sound the least bit suspicious that there needed to be an “agreement” between the hospital and the police regarding drawing of blood from suspected drunk drivers?

        Nope. I’ve set foot in an ambulance after an accident. I had a couple of minor burns and I refused treatment. I was held for 15 min. and asked 3 times if I was refusing treatment before they let me leave, but only after I signed a statement saying I refused treatment. It seemed totally weird, but sensible, to tell people repeatedly that I was okay and then have to sign paperwork to the same effect, but this is bureaucracy and, if it pisses off some bureaucrat, it’s their own fault.

        #2. Medical people keep records of what has been administered, and when. A full toxicology report

        Again, you’re talking about running a full toxicology report on someone who hasn’t committed a crime. Barring that, it’s a civil matter and I can’t just order a full toxicology report on you just because I think you might be taking drugs and bumped into me on the street.

      2. retiredfire: you’re tolling me, right ?

        On #1, you completely missed the point, and hell no, an agreement like that doesn’t sound suspicious. If its so crazy, why did the PD agree to it ? The point is, the nurse appears caught in the middle, trying to follow hospital AND PD policy. The right answer isn’t to haul her off and arrest her. Why didn’t the cops just explain what you just said to her supervisor (or whoever in charge) who was ON THE PHONE at the time. Crissakes.

        On #2, I guess. Maybe. If they gave him oxy for pain, would that mean the cops would rule out that he was taking oxy prior to the crash ? Seems to leave a door open for them to interpret things however they want to.

      3. > the “agreement”, which has no force of law

        On the contrary, these agreements supersede all other considerations. You seem to be ignorant of the fact that contract is the highest law. It’s enshrined in the Constitution. Contracts have existed since the beginning of time, your beloved statutes, not so much.

  26. God damn it. Reason’s journalistic standards are swirling the drain.

    Alex Wubbels, the Salt Lake City nurse who was arrested on video after she refused to let a cop draw blood from an unconscious patient without consent or a warrant

    From Reason’s first story:

    Behold, Salt Lake City Police Det. Jeff Payne arresting Nurse Alex Wubbels in July for refusing to violate an unconscious?comatose, actually?man’s rights by drawing his blood for the police without any sort of warrant whatsoever:

    So which is it? Did she refuse to let a cop draw blood, or refuse to draw blood for a cop?

    There’s a world of difference there, as was obvious to me from the initial article. It probably is illegal to bar a cop from drawing blood, but also illegal for a cop to demand that *you* draw blood for them.

    The cop(?) involved was a phlebotomist. My initial reaction to the story was “why send a phlebotomist if he’s not going to draw the blood himself?”

    Swirling the drain.

    The more Progressivism infests Reason, the more it can’t get simple facts right because it simply no longer believes facts exist – all that exists are competing narratives.

    Progressivism Poisons Everything

    1. So which is it? Did she refuse to let a cop draw blood, or refuse to draw blood for a cop?

      There’s a world of difference there, as was obvious to me from the initial article. It probably is illegal to bar a cop from drawing blood, but also illegal for a cop to demand that *you* draw blood for them.

      This is a bit of a moot point. The hospital isn’t (necessarily) owned by the county and certainly isn’t under the PD’s jurisdiction and is likely the reason for the legal hemming and hawing over who gets to draw blood and when. If the police slam into someone on your front yard, say you have to take care of him and run off, then return later and insist you draw blood or allow them in to draw blood, it’s a pretty clear violation of constitutional liberties on a couple of fronts.

      If Wubbels was on the scene or assisting with an unconscious patient at the local lockup, it would be one thing, but this is a private individual in a private (quotes?) hospital. The fact that the cop is a phlebotomist is moot, there’s no legal reason for the collection of evidence regarding an innocent man and jabbing a needle into him would be no more legal than sending a regular officer with a service pistol and mop.

      1. The fact that the cop is a phlebotomist is moot

        No, and I’m not going to explain that point again.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that Reason published two articles with conflicting presentations of the *facts* of the situation.

        Swirling the drain.

        1. No, and I’m not going to explain that point again.

          Whether the FBI sends government certified engineers to Apple, sends regular FBI agents to detain Apple employees, or asks Apple to voluntarily assist in the unlocking of the phone does nothing to change the fact that the phone isn’t Apples’ to unlock, if they even can. And it should be noted that even in this case the phone is/was, conceivably, a “crucial” piece of evidence in a criminal investigation.

          A phlebotomist isn’t trained in emergency medicine. While you can normally take a conscious person, stick a needle in their veins and draw blood, that isn’t necessarily the case with a comatose patient in the ER. The officer needed her to assist, whether that means simply helping the officer avoid a downstream draw or interpreting charts to providing tubes, gloves, and needles is moot, the officer can’t compel any action on the part of the hospital with regard to an innocent man, especially without a warrant and especially especially in lieu of some supposed hypothetical civil suit.

          I don’t disagree with the fact that Reason presented a minor reporting discrepancy but, the fact of the matter is police can’t effectively order citizens to take any action against fellow citizens who aren’t suspected of a crime and/or are not guilty of a criminal act, inside a hospital or not.

          1. beautifully said

          2. I don’t think an officer can comply any person to act as his unpaid agent under any circumstances, whether they or anyone else are innocent or guilty. The real legal operative principle here is that people have agency, and will. To get anyone to do anything requires consent and a contract obtained without coercion.

        2. Swirling the drain.

          And given the rather blatant and flagrant to the point of being malicious misrepresentations that have been offered the officer’s defense I’m fairly certain that if Reason is circling the drain on this one, it’s being pulled down from below.

  27. “your neighbor bursts through your front door with a pile of drugs in his hands,”

    Illegal drugs or his insulin and Xanax?

  28. Gregg Re, a lawyer

    Are you shitting me? That boot-licking ignoramus is a LAWYER? How much have they dumbed down the bar exam in whatever state let him in?

    -jcr

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  30. Wow. One could be forgiven for thinking Mr. Re has been hired to defend Payne, and, stuck with that pig, has set about putting lipstick on it.

    This is so chock-full of errors it’s hard to pick which ones to point out. Let’s just go with one in the interests of brevity: that wasn’t just “hospital policy” she was explaining- and showing- to Payne. It was an agreement between the hospital and the Salt Lake City Police Department, no doubt hammered out by actual attorneys, to match what is required by law. The cops spent more time arguing for her to let them draw blood than it likely would have taken them to get a warrant, and Payne can be overheard on his own body cam telling another cop they don’t have PC to get a warrant.

    So, let’s see: no basis for which to arrest Mr. Gray, and no PC for a warrant. Exactly how does one dig exigent circumstances out of that? Well, that’s a trick question, because the answer is that there aren’t any exigent circumstances in this case to justify drawing Mr. Gray’s blood at all, let alone arresting the woman who, at that moment, is responsible for his welfare.

    The byline says Mr. Re is an attorney. He’s made people stupider with this article.

  31. There is another aspect not addressed. The nurse did not prevent the police or an agent of the police from obtaining the blood. She refused to be used as an agent of the police to draw the blood. The police can not use a person as if they are a simple tool, without will, without agency. That transforms a person into a thing.

  32. He’s a shill, you can bet that he has some strong connections with law enforcement or the private industrial prison complex system and their lobbyists.

  33. “Exigent circumstances?” He means “probable cause” I think, which even the criminal cop admitted he didn’t have.

  34. I don’t believe the blood draw was *really* for a hypothetical civil suit in order to absolve the truck driver.

    From what I can tell, that excuse came later. I think it was in hopes of finding something–anything–in his system to potentially place blame on him in case of a suit, or something, attempting to hold the cops responsible for a deadly high speed chase.

  35. The nationalsocialist cop unions really spent some treasury getting sockpuppets and shills in here to pull Bully Boy’s bacon out of the fire. It’ll be kinda funny if the DA subpeonas Reason for the list of sockpuppet IDs for a RICO investigation. I’m beginning to suspect the car that burned contained maybe a coupla suitcases of… um… forfeitable assets.

  36. Cops like this guy don’t need a warrant or reasonable suspension; all they need is a badge and a bully attitude. The badge gives the full rights to subjugate the populace in their minds. The Constitution is just a old document under glass in WDC and fuck yo rights.

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