Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Utah nurse, the latest victim of cop abuse, says "police should police themselves," but our experience shows cops are likely to cover up and blame the victim

Cops arresting Utah nurse Alex Wubbels
(From cbsnews.com)
A Utah nurse, who has become the latest face for victims of police abuse, said yesterday she does not intend to call for any particular punishment of the officer who roughed her up and falsely arrested her in a Salt Lake City burn unit.

“I’m not here to police the police,” Alex Wubbels said on NBC‘s TODAY Show. ”The police need to do that if they’re going to regain any kind of trust by me or the public.” (Video is embedded at the end of this post.)

It's understandable that Wubbels did not want to risk being the target of blow back from powerful law-enforcement organizations. But Wubbels is dreaming if she thinks police are capable of policing themselves. My wife, Carol, knows that from firsthand experience -- and Carol was roughed up much worse by cops during our unlawful eviction in Springfield, Missouri, than was Wubbels in Salt Lake City. I've seen no reports that Wubbels received any injuries; Carol has a foot-long scar, plus all kinds of internal hardware that was required to surgically piece her arm back together after deputies shattered it. (See X-rays below.)

That's not to downplay Wubbels' experience. It was an example of gross police abuse, which has sparked national outrage, mainly because most of the incident was caught on video. This is from a report at the Salt Lake Tribune:

On July 26, Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne wanted Wubbels to draw the blood of 43-year-old William Gray, who was unconscious after being involved in a fiery crash earlier in the day in Logan. Wubbels refused, citing hospital policy against drawing the blood of someone without their consent or without a warrant for arrest. [Last] Thursday, body camera video was released of Payne shouting at Wubbels and handcuffing and arresting her on suspicion of obstruction of justice. Police released her after about 20 minutes.

A protest was conducted on Saturday evening in Salt Lake City:

X-ray of Carol Shuler's broken arm
before seven hours of trauma surgery

Those who gathered at a Utah Against Police Brutality rally on Saturday evening asked for the detective’s immediate firing and called for more transparency from government officials.
“This was an egregious act of police violence against one of the most important people in our community — a nurse,” organizer David Newlin told the crowd. “Someone who gives her life, gives her time to heal the most vulnerable among us.”

Protesters chanted, “Acts of police brutality, not in our community,” and called for justice for Wubbels as they held signs declaring, “Hands off our nurses” and “Fire Detective Payne.”

Can police be trusted to handle this matter? Based on our experience, the answer is, "Hell, no!" Consider what cops have done in the aftermath of breaking Carol's arm:

* Carol was trying to retrieve our cat's litter box during the eviction, when a Greene County deputy grabbed her from behind, slammed her butt-first to the ground, and yanked on both of her arms (in an upward and backward motion, while she still was seated), breaking her left arm so badly that it required trauma surgery for repair.

* Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott was standing about five feet away when Carol was brutalized, and in classic cover-your-ass mode, he immediately pointed at her and said, "She assaulted a police officer."

* Carol was handcuffed (behind her back, while her arm was broken), tossed in the back seat of a squad car, and taken to jail, where a deputy claimed she would be hit with a felony charge and likely $100,000 bond. When Carol complained of pain in her left arm, she was taken to a nearby hospital emergency room, where X-rays revealed multiple breaks. She was released without charges and taken to Cox Medical Center, where she eventually underwent more than seven hours of surgery, which involved numerous possible complications.

* On the last day before the one-year statute of limitations ran out, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson filed misdemeanor "assault on a law enforcement officer" charges against Carol -- the victim of a cop assault -- and she was arrested a second time. This is a classic "cover charge," which rogue cops are known to bring against victims who have strong civil cases against them.

* The Probable Cause Statement and Misdemeanor Information in the case show there is not the slightest piece of admissible evidence to support Carol's arrest, much less a prosecution. A trespass charge against her has been dismissed, but the "assault" charge remains -- even though it must be dismissed, by law, on multiple grounds. Judge Margaret Holden Palmietto has not gotten around to doing that yet, and Public Defender Patty Poe apparently is not going to push for it.

X-ray of hardware required to repair
Carol Shuler's broken arm
* In their incident reports, four Greene County deputies hint that Carol broke her arm by thrashing about in the back seat of a patrol car. Never mind that Carol was restrained via seat belts and harnesses while in the car. And never mind that Carol had a comminuted fracture, which is a break into three or more pieces. Research indicates such breaks almost always come from trauma, such as in a car wreck, and almost certainly could not be caused from flailing about in the back seat of a squad car.

Alex Wubbels is doing a public service by speaking out on the Today Show, and hopefully, she and attorney Karra Porter will make other national appearances. They each made important points in the interview yesterday:

Wubbels told TODAY much of what she told Salt Lake City’s KUTV on Friday. She did not say what should happen to Payne and instead focused on how police expect nurse’s to do what they say.

The video “resonates with people all over” she said.

Wubbels’ attorney, Karra Porter, appeared with her Monday on TODAY. While a lawsuit is not out of the question, Porter said, her client most wants changes so no other nurses are arrested.

“Most people that this happens to don’t have this kind of evidence,” Porter said.

Porter obtained the police video through a public-records request. The video has turned what would have been a local or regional story into national news. In Carol's case, we don't know if video or audio exists of cops breaking her arm. We have sought such material during discovery in her criminal case, but prosecutors are stonewalling on turning over information.

There you have it, more evidence that police can't be trusted to police themselves. They must be hit in the teeth with a federal lawsuit, and hopefully Alex Wubbels' case will turn in that direction shortly. Carol's case definitely is headed in that direction.


Anonymous said...

Read this!

Utah hospital to cops: Stay away from our nurses

Watch (starting at about at 7:20 in the clip) the University police chief (Chief Brophy) who is apparently some combination of incurious, incompetent, unable to decide what needs to be investigated, and in denial that HIS cops ever do bad things; WHAT THE FUCK DOES CHIEF BROPHY THINK THE BODY CAM FOOTAGE IS INTENDED TO BE USED FOR???

On CNN’s “New Day,” Wubbels said she felt betrayed by both Salt Lake City police and university security. She described how she tried to get guards to intervene, saying that Payne seemed angry from the moment he arrived. In the video, university officers can be seen standing by as Payne violently arrests the nurse.

So Brophy's donut eaters were at the scene with body cams rolling (unless they turned them off and Chief Brophy today explains:

In Monday’s news conference, University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy apologized to Wubbels and hospital staff for his early response to the incident. He said he didn’t watch the body camera footage until Thursday evening and realized then that he didn’t take it seriously enough.

Chief Brophy implied he didn't take his job seriously?

There apparently was no need for Chief Brophy to pierce the veil of plausible deniability until the coverup of this incident (at a hospital Chief Brophy and his officers supposedly secure) failed. So long as Chief Brophy hears no evil and sees no evil (why else would he not watch the bodycam footage?) he doesn't need to put his donuts down and do something about the assault and fake arrest perpetrated upon a nurse who was doing her job in a building Chief Brophy and his officers are hired and paid to protect.

What clearly needs to be de-escalated is Chief Brophy's pay rate and job prospects at his current employer. Also all the officers who countenanced an unwarranted assault on an innocent woman doing her job also need to be de-escalated out of their jobs.

Any nurse would probably say to fire their asses STAT! (Chief Brophy is apparently full of shit-so perhaps he needs a suppository before he gets sent packing.)

legalschnauzer said...

@8:02 --

Thanks for an interesting comment. And thanks for sharing that article. I read somewhere that Wubbels was concerned with the poor response from Salt Lake and university cops/security, and that's why she pushed to get the body cam video. Will see if I can find where I read that.

legalschnauzer said...

Found it. Here is URL to story where Wubbels said she was unhappy with response of university police:


From the story:

Wubbels has said she released the video her attorneys received through a public records request partly because she was unhappy that university police didn’t help her. She wasn’t immediately available for comment on the hospital’s announcements.

Brophy said that when he met with Wubbels and her attorney last Tuesday, he had not seen the video.

“It’s like seeing a picture or actually visiting a place — it’s completely different,” the police chief said. “It was clear that the arrest was completely mishandled and was inappropriate and didn’t need to happen. She had done everything she possibly could to make that situation work and she wasn’t rewarded for that.”

Anonymous said...

If Chief Brophy is this ignorant, imagine how dumb the cops who answer to him must be.

legalschnauzer said...

Utah nurse says she was "scared to death":


Imagine how Carol must have felt. Wubbels was dealing mainly with one rogue cop. Carol was surrounded by three, with 4-5 more in immediate vicinity.

Anonymous said...

Chief Brophy is admitting he didn't take the mere words of Ms. Wubbels and her attorney seriously enough. He had to see video to take it seriously. How many cops and chiefs treat members of the public this way?

Anonymous said...

Chief Brophy = Jeff Sessions = Karl Rove = Dick Cheney.

Competent enough to accomplish evil things.

Anonymous said...

It's comforting to know that Jeff Sessions tells law enforcement he "has their back."

Sounds like maybe citizens who come in contact with cops are the ones who need someone to "have their back."


Anonymous said...

Here is a quote that indicates she was not happy with response of university cops:

"This cop bullied me. He bullied me to the utmost extreme," Wubbels said in an interview with The Associated Press. "And nobody stood in his way."

legalschnauzer said...

@10:18 --

That sounds like cops watching out for other cops. Common practice, just like lawyers looking out for other lawyers.

Anonymous said...

"And nobody stood in his way."

Nobody = Brophy's officers.

The ones that are supposed to protect and serve the hospital's patients and employees.

Anonymous said...

I read that Payne is an ambulance driver in his off-duty job, and he said he was going to bring "all the transient patients" to Wubbels hospital.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:34 --

Payne sounds like a classy guy doesn't he? First, "transients" are human beings and should be deserving of respect. Second, as a state-run university hospital, Wubbels' facility probably gets all or most of the "transients" anyway. Typical cop dumb shit.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure this isn't Payne's first ride at the deplorable rodeo.

Payne looks like he could be a curious mix of bulked up muscular and overweight. He's not exactly a young man either. Is there some sort of magic muscle pill that all these raging cops take? Mixed with too many donuts and it's crazy train time?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:40 --

I'm guessing roids are all the rage in police departments. The cop who arrested me in Bham definitely looked like was on 'em. Most of the cop/thugs at the jail looked like they were on them. Wonder where they get them.

Anonymous said...

Handcuffing breaks occur higher on the arm. Handcuff fractures don't look like Carol's. It very definitely is associated with trauma and probably rapid deceleration when she hit the ground caused the fracture when she involuntarily braced herself, with the larger wrist bone driven upward into the joint. A "car wreck" can cause this injury, it is not necessary to cause that injury in vulnerable patient cohorts, (age, sex, underlying conditions)Carol would be more vulnerable to break from when she was made to fall (knocked backward to the ground with force) You've said Carol is hypothyroid. She is female and over fifty. (For reasons that are not well understood some hypothyroid persons are statistically more prone to breaks.) She almost certainly got the injury before she was placed in the car, and as a result of use of force. However it probably didn't happen from handcuffing, though this would have exacerbated her condition.

Anonymous said...

@4:43 --

What is your name and your credentials for determining what caused the break in Carol's arm? Are you a radiologist? Were you on site that day, did you see the event? I think Mr. Schnauzer has stated that he saw the whole thing, from just a few feet away. Did you have a better vantage point than that?

Your comment reads like pure nonsense to me. First, you hint that it's not necessary for something to "cause" the injury in "vulnerable" patients. (Really? Bones just break into 3 or more pieces on their own, with nothing to cause it?) Then, you admit it likely was caused by a use of force? You can't make up your own mind, so why should any of us take you seriously.

Mr. Schnauzer has described Carol being slammed to the ground "butt-first" over and over, that she did not brace herself with her arm. You can do a search for "butt-first" on the blog and see how many times he has described it that way. Are we to take your word over the word of someone who was there?

Finally, why do you care, and why are you trying to convince we readers of your bullshit?

legalschnauzer said...

@5:04 --

This is the same guy who has been trying to sell bogus theories here about what happened for months. He's probably a lawyer with a horse in the race, so he will never give his name. He has no medical or forensic expertise, so this is a ruse to advance his agenda, which is to place more blame on Carol and less on the police. I nix many of his comments, but let one through every now and then.

In this instance, I never said handcuffing caused Carol's break. I said grabbing her arm and yanking it in an upward and back direction, while she was still seated, caused the break. Just one example of how this guy twists and turns. Think I'll start calling him Mr. Pretzel.

Anonymous said...

Book Mr. Pretzel Logic into the nearest Holiday Inn Express. Do it STAT!

Order up all the pickled pigs feet and other 'special cuts' room service has (it's for sure the Holiday Inn Express in Sp'field on East St Louis OR the one in Marshfield so you KNOW they plenty of all that shit up in there) and take away the toilet paper and the flush lever AFTER leaving an Upper Deck job in the tank!

That will keep Mr. Pretzel Logic entertained for a while!

legalschnauzer said...

LOL! What a great comment. Love it! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty more of that shit for any of these jerkies that keep wasting your blog space and crapping in my monitor!

Anonymous said...

"In this instance, I never said handcuffing caused Carol's break. I said grabbing her arm and yanking it in an upward and back direction, while she was still seated, caused the break. Just one example of how this guy twists and turns. Think I'll start calling him Mr. Pretzel.

September 5, 2017 at 6:01 PM"

I'm not sure why this is necessary to explain but breaks from rough handcuffing (the process, including getting arms in position to handcuff (the yanking up and back) is exactly what I was referring to. That kind of trauma typically produces breaks higher in the arm.

The mechanism of injury of the type of elbow fracture that Carol is more typically a "landing" force - the large bones of the forearm being driven into the elbow, or a direct blow to the elbow.

Carol, by your report, was knocked down and fell hard. This is more likely to be the cause of her break. This likelihood does not necessarily diminish police culpablity. It doesn't affect any argument that police were there improperly or used force improperl or delayed care improperly. In fact it does very much take away their apparent attempt to blame Carol for "thrashing" in the car as if that is where her injury occurred. If Carol was harnessed and belted, she could not have inflicted that injury on herself.

I know you are very tied to the idea that yanking on the arms broke the elbow. But what the officer did usually causes breaks higher up on the arm. Carol's type of fracture is not typical of handcuffing (process, including the arm grabbing) injuries at all. It is typical of injuries where the forearm bone(s) is driven backward by force, or a direct blow to the elbow.

I don't have any connection to anyone at all involved in this case and never have.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:58 --

A couple of differences between you and me -- (1) I was there and witnessed this event from a few feet away; (2) I put my name behind everything I write, and you don't. I've written umpteen times that Carol landed on her butt and did not land on her arm or brace with her arm. Why you are so invested in concocting an alternate reality is beyond me, but since you refuse to ID yourself, I have no reason to care what you think. Neither do my readers.

The bit about "handcuffing typically causes breaks higher up in the arm," best I can tell, is something you pulled out of your ass. I see no citations to anyone with expertise on this matter. You say "what the officer did usually causes breaks higher up on the arm," but you don't know what the officer did.

Feel free to continue with your fantasy world, but you have zero credibility here.