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Old 01 September 2017, 02:31 PM
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Police 'This is Crazy,' Sobs Utah Hospital Nurse, as Cop Roughs Her Up, Arrests Her

'This is Crazy,' Sobs Utah Hospital Nurse, as Cop Roughs Her Up, Arrests Her for Doing Her Job

Quote:
The detective didn't have a warrant, first off. And the patient wasn't conscious, so he couldn't give consent. Without that, the detective was barred from collecting blood samples — not just by hospital policy, but by basic constitutional law.

Still, Detective Jeff Payne insisted that he be let in to take the blood, saying the nurse would be arrested and charged if she refused.
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  #2  
Old 01 September 2017, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Wubbels's supervisor chimes in on the speakerphone. "Why are you blaming the messenger," he asks Payne.

"She's the one that has told me no," the officer responds.


"Why are you blaming the messenger?"
"Because she's the messenger!"

Honestly, I'm not 100% comfortable with training cops as phlebotomists and sending them out to take samples. If we're going to do that, we absolutely need them to respect Constitutional boundaries.
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Old 01 September 2017, 03:02 PM
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IMO, the problem is that, in some situations, there is little downside to an officer for getting evidence illegally or against Constitutional principles. In many cases, the only effect of illegal methods is that the prosecutor cannot use that evidence (or evidence that comes about because of that evidence) in court. But if the officer isn't going to be able to get the evidence legally, that's no loss. So why not get the evidence illegally and hope the defendant has a poor lawyer and the evidence gets admitted?

Of course, there are a number of good officers that wouldn't do this. But there are certainly some who would.
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Old 01 September 2017, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
His lieutenant ordered him to arrest Wubbels if she refused to let him draw a sample, according to the Tribune.
Wouldn't this unnamed lieutenant be legally responsible for issuing illegal orders?
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  #5  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:01 PM
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Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
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The cop totally mishandled the situation, but I think who ever wrote the headline misused the term 'roughed up'.
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Old 01 September 2017, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
The cop totally mishandled the situation, but I think who ever wrote the headline misused the term 'roughed up'.
I disagree - I think that's exactly what that police officer did.
Quote:
He seized hold of the nurse, shoved her out of the building and cuffed her hands behind her back.
And not that the police officer would have been in the right anyway but the person he wanted to draw blood from wasn't under arrest and was not going to charged with anything. Insane.
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  #7  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:10 PM
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Police

I'm wondering what Nurse Wubbels' legal situation would have been if the cops continued to back up the officer's actions. I assume she could be charged with resisting arrest, but prior to her arrest was she legally allowed to bar the officer from following his orders, even if she was in the right about consent, etc.? In other words, could she be charged with something like impeding an investigation?

Also, strangely absent from the story is whether the blood was ever taken. Given that the objective was supposedly to prove the driver wasn't at fault, this is an interesting debate to have.
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  #8  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:13 PM
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Boku, I would imagine that police departments have a policy that would say that both of them can be legally responsible for illegal orders.

Beachlife, I agree that "roughed up" is overstating the case as that usually means something like thrown to the ground or beaten. Would you be okay with "manhandled"?

ETA: ChasFink, AIUI, she did not bar the officer from following his orders, she refused to comply with his order. Quite a different thing. As to her defense, it would depend on what they would charge her with. Section 76-8-305. Interference with peace officer, requires that the officer be attempting an arrest or detention. According to the video, the officer stated several times that the driver was not under arrest. If that did charge her under that, her defense would probably be that she was following the law as that section says that interference is "refusing to perform any act required by lawful order" (note that it must be a lawful order).

Section 76-8-306. Obstruction of justice in criminal investigations or proceedings would seem to apply as that covers all aspects including investigation and prosecution. But none of the actions listed are refusals, they are active actions like concealing or destroying evidence, providing aid to a fugitive, giving false information etc. They would have to argue that refusing to draw blood is concealment, which would probably be a stretch. There is a clause about preventing a person from performing an act that could aid in investigation, etc, but it requires force, intimidation, or deception (this is why I said what I did above about barring vs not following).

Last edited by GenYus234; 01 September 2017 at 05:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I'm wondering what Nurse Wubbels' legal situation would have been if the cops continued to back up the officer's actions. I assume she could be charged with resisting arrest, but prior to her arrest was she legally allowed to bar the officer from following his orders, even if she was in the right about consent, etc.? In other words, could she be charged with something like impeding an investigation?
For refusing to allow an unconstitutional blood draw? Maybe, but I doubt the charge would stand up on appeal. I certainly hope not.
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  #10  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:17 PM
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Yeah, she was definitely manhandled. And that's not okay, but roughing up is far more serious, and it clearly didn't happen. At least not in the video presented.
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  #11  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
IMO, the problem is that, in some situations, there is little downside to an officer for getting evidence illegally or against Constitutional principles. In many cases, the only effect of illegal methods is that the prosecutor cannot use that evidence (or evidence that comes about because of that evidence) in court. But if the officer isn't going to be able to get the evidence legally, that's no loss. So why not get the evidence illegally and hope the defendant has a poor lawyer and the evidence gets admitted?
IANAL, and I see where you are going with this, but I think it puts everything downstream into question also, So if they had a chance of legitimately getting other evidence, that could be tainted too. So I don't think it is a 100% "nothing to lose" proposition. But maybe the odds are still in their favor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I'm wondering what Nurse Wubbels' legal situation would have been if the cops continued to back up the officer's actions. I assume she could be charged with resisting arrest, but prior to her arrest was she legally allowed to bar the officer from following his orders, even if she was in the right about consent, etc.? In other words, could she be charged with something like impeding an investigation?
Still NAL, but we have seen many other cases of a person being arrested and charged with "resisting arrest" even when the initial reason for arrest or stop was not legit. I think at least the ones that make national news eventually get dropped, but that only helps if the person does not get killed in the process . Also, I cannot imagine it being pleasant to be arrested and have the charge hanging over you for however long even if you get cleared ultimately.
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  #12  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
IANAL, and I see where you are going with this, but I think it puts everything downstream into question also, So if they had a chance of legitimately getting other evidence, that could be tainted too. So I don't think it is a 100% "nothing to lose" proposition. But maybe the odds are still in their favor.
AIUI (IANAL, either), they can use other evidence if they can prove that they would have discovered it (legally) even if they hadn't had the tainted evidence. It's only "fruit of the poisoned tree" if they can't prove that.
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  #13  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:30 PM
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I disagree; she was "roughed up" in my opinion. The cop went off like a fire cracker after being told he was threatening her. I bet she has bruises from the incident. That guy needs to be fired and she should sue the pants off the police force involved. If what is being said is true he committed (attempted to commit as we don't know if the blood was drawn) a federal crime. The whole thing was a misuse of authority that the guy actually didn't have under the law as I understand it per this thread. What a jerk.
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  #14  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
AIUI (IANAL, either), they can use other evidence if they can prove that they would have discovered it (legally) even if they hadn't had the tainted evidence. It's only "fruit of the poisoned tree" if they can't prove that.
I agree but the downstream stuff could be at risk- "they wouldn't have looked for this if they had not known that, etc."


Anyway, back to the OP:
-The criminal suspect (not the patient) was dead.
-The detective said the reason he would not get the warrant is that there was no probable cause! Should have told him something.
-According to the article, they wanted the blood not to charge the patient, but to protect him. Protect him from what? With no evidence of intoxication, he gets the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. If it is to protect him from say a civil suit by the other guy's heirs, well that would be up to the patient and his family and lawyer to decide.
-Also, the medics sedated him. The test would come up positive for benzos and maybe opiates if they also gave him pain med. Sure, there is alcohol and cannabis, and PCP and more, but I don;t even see the logic of this test.


Also, if we are going to debate if she was manhandled or roughed up, can we just agree to say he gave her the business?

Last edited by Dr. Dave; 01 September 2017 at 05:45 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
AIUI (IANAL, either), they can use other evidence if they can prove that they would have discovered it (legally) even if they hadn't had the tainted evidence. It's only "fruit of the poisoned tree" if they can't prove that.
The big question in this case would be that the evidence is very time-critical. If they find something later that would have allowed for a blood test, is the re-admittance of evidence based on the initial time or the time the new evidence is found?

For example, the next day they find a bartender that refused to serve him because he was drunk. Checking the security tape, they see that this happened 15 minutes before the crash. Are they allowed to re-admit the blood test from that night? Or would the law say that since they couldn't legally take blood until the next day (when the alcohol level would have fallen below the legal limit), they can't use blood from earlier?

And in a humorous note, can they prosecute you for destruction of evidence because your liver converted the alcohol to sugar?

ETA: Have to correct myself, misread the article. The nurse who was arrested was doing more than refusing, she, according to the report, was preventing the officer from doing his action. So Section 76-8-306 is closer to applying. But it still requires force, deception, or intimidation.
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  #16  
Old 01 September 2017, 05:54 PM
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They were trying to prove that he *wasn't* impaired, not that he was. The cops won't be looking for a bartender that served him. And the guy they were pursuing when the accident happened is dead, so there won't be a defense attorney looking for a bartender. So you may need to adjust your hypothetical.
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  #17  
Old 01 September 2017, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvanz View Post
I disagree; she was "roughed up" in my opinion.
Absolutely! There are lots of terms that would work here, manhandled, "gave her the business", police brutality, and so on. I'm fine with any of them. For me roughed up works just fine and I hope that police officer gets way more than 5 minutes in a penalty box for unnecessary roughness!
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  #18  
Old 01 September 2017, 06:09 PM
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Those terms don't mean the same thing. When you start calling anything roughing up, it makes the term have no meaning.

She was arrested, he was almost certainly not as gentle as he could have been. But, he didn't punch her, kick her or throw her down in an attempt to hurt her.

Roughing up exaggerates the situation and that minimizes situations where someone actually is roughed up.
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  #19  
Old 01 September 2017, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
They were trying to prove that he *wasn't* impaired, not that he was. The cops won't be looking for a bartender that served him. And the guy they were pursuing when the accident happened is dead, so there won't be a defense attorney looking for a bartender. So you may need to adjust your hypothetical.
We're using a hypothetical where he is the suspect because the existing case makes no sense. As Dr Dave pointed out, any forceful evidence gathering and the burden of proof should be done by the plaintiff's lawyers (or by the prosecution). I'm not sure if the Constitutionality of compelling someone to give evidence in his own defense has ever been tested, so we have little to go on.

ETA: Once again, cynicism wins out. I was wondering if he was a good friend of the officers and that's why were going way beyond normal procedures to help him out? Pretty sure this is the same accident.
Quote:
The driver of that semi-truck has been identified as William Gray of Rigby, Idaho. Gray is a reserve police officer for the Rigby Police Department.

Last edited by GenYus234; 01 September 2017 at 06:20 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01 September 2017, 07:53 PM
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In some jurisdictions aren't police officers always tested for drugs or alcohol after an accident? Could that be the case here? I believe in some places even an off duty officer is subject to testing and "reserve" officers are basically the same as a regular officer. Kind of a stretch, but it is possible that taking blood was OK even without consent.

Taking blood to protect the guy from prosecution at some later date seems a bit of a stretch. In the link GenYus posted there really doesn't look like there is any doubt about who caused the accident.
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