Male Dominance, Police Brutality, Utah

Green Women Rising: Statement on Violence by Salt Lake Police Officer on Hospital Nurse

Green Women Rising, the Women’s Caucus of the Green Party of Utah, has issued this statement as a reaction to the violence imposed by a Salt Lake City police officer, Detective Jeff Payne, on Alex Wubbels, a Nurse at the University of Utah Hospital, in July, 2017. Det. Payne approached Nurse Wubbels in the emergency room and demanded a sample of blood from an unconscious accident victim. Nurse Wubbels, following her orders, and showing Det. Payne a copy of the written agreement between the hospital and the police department refused to comply, since the agreement specifically outlined that no samples are to be handed over unless there is an electronic warrant, patient consent or patient under arrest. None of those criteria applied. Det. Payne proceeded to state that his presence superseded the agreement and when it was apparent that she was not going to comply, Det. Payne forced Nurse Wubbels against a wall, handcuffed and arrested her, and forced her to his vehicle, while she screamed the entire time for help.

The violent actions towards Nurse Wubbels, by  Det. Payne, while she was performing her duties in caring for an injured patient, were unnecessary, abhorrent, and brutal. These actions went well beyond the realm of the duties and prerogatives of law enforcement in this case. Further, this was an act of unnecessary male dominance in an effort to circumvent the legal requirement to obtain a warrant to collect evidence.

We demand a thorough independent investigation into the motivations for obtaining the evidence being sought.

Since the incident Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski and Salt Lake City Police Chief Brown have issued a statement wherein Chief Brown stated that an apology was made and that Det. Payne was taken off of the blood draw program. We believe this soft response is insufficient.

We call upon City Mayor Biskupski to relieve all personnel directly responsible for this needless violent action towards Nurse Wubbels as well as all individuals that failed to address this issue in a timely manner to enforce accountability for these brutal and illegal actions.

We hold the University of Utah Police Department accountable to University employees in harms way, whose officer on duty recorded the incident on a body cam. We call upon the University to take a stand against the violence towards a University Hospital employee..

We hold accountable all other observers who witnessed the violence against Nurse Wubbels to provide the accounts as witnessed and stand up for an end to such brutality.

We call for all law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and all government officials and employees to engage in ACLU and anger management training.

Green Women Rising members applaud the bravery of Nurse Wubbels and regard her as a hero for standing up to government employees who abuse their power and for standing up for the rights of other human beings when they are rendered unable to do so themselves. We support Nurse Wubbels’ continued efforts to speak out against violence.

Link to body cam video of incident:

To file a complaint against Det. Jeff Payne:

Sign a petition to raise awareness of the dangers of front line staff in healthcare:

Emergency Rally:

Green Women Rising will organize and act to advance the rights and concerns of all those who identify as or with women.,


Reacting to Violence: Making a Difference

This past week was fraught with turmoil in Salt Lake City as a militant sweep was conducted to eliminate the homeless population in the downtown area. This action did not resolve homelessness.  It exacerbated the issue and resulted in acts of violence, including physical harm to others and destruction of property.

Practically every violent conflict or social change has proved that violence unleashes violence in return. ~ Petra Kelly, 1947-1992

Green Women Rising learned of an opportunity to assist a community organization which found itself a victim of the turmoil. To that end, Green Women Rising has decided to forgo physically participating in the Women’s March for Equality this Saturday in Salt Lake City. We will be there in spirit as our sisters and brothers march in the continued fight for equality for all life in this world.

We have instead decided to attend to our community in a more immediate way that directly impacts people. A small church which provides over 500 meals a day to those in need, has been broken into. Windows smashed, food storage and clothes stolen. Through their community projects, they distribute food to low-income people even though they can barely afford to do it. This has resulted in letting go of resources to maintain the building which has been in need of repair prior to the break-in. The church members have found themselves having to repair and rebuild in order to carry out their mission of serving those in need.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.~ Mother Theresa, 1910-1997

help-1300942_1920.pngGreen Women Rising and others will be assisting in the effort to clean up from the break-in and building maintenance needs, which will include replacing or boarding up windows, erecting a fence and other needed work to help this small organization improve the structure and get services back into place.


In the spirit of the Ten Key Values espoused by the Green Party, and recognizing that violence is often a symptom of the societal deficits resulting in desperate acts, Green Women Rising reacts to this violent act towards our sisters and brothers who devote their time to helping those in need by helping them restore their services so that the work to feed and clothe the hungry and the poor can continue. It is our Personal and Global Responsibility to engage with our neighbors and our community in this way at this time.