SALT LAKE CITY -- A conversation has been started, and that is exactly what Alex Wubbels' attorney said she wanted when Wubbels released the video of a Salt Lake City Police officer arresting her.
Initially, Wubbels hoped it would reach the outskirts of Utah. The video has spread much farther, reaching people all over the world, and even inspiring rallies for her, including one that happened outside Salt Lake City Police headquarters Saturday night.
Dave Newlin helped organize the Utah Against Police Brutality rally.
“What are we here for? We’re here to protest an egregious act of police violence against one of the most important people in our community: a nurse," he said while addressing the crowd. "Someone who gives her life, gives her time to heal the most vulnerable among us."
“This attack on Alex and all the other acts of police violence are not just attacks on individuals in our community, it’s an attack on the community itself. And, therefore, we need community control and we need it now," said member Stephen Michael Christian, who inspired chanting.
Alex Wubbels' attorney, Karra Porter, gave a brief speech at the event.
“I was invited to speak and Alex’s goal here is to contribute to a conversation in the state and the country, and I thought that speaking would be consistent with that goal," Porter said.
There are some differences, Porter explained. The group was calling for the Salt Lake officers in question to be fired, and that the police should not be allowed to investigate themselves. Porter said that is not what Wubbels wants.
“She feels strongly that the police should police themselves," Porter said. "Alex is not anti-police at all. She believes the police serve an important function and are here to protect us, but there are instances where this kind of thing happens.”
Porter said Wubbels wants a civic and civil dialogue and education.
“She felt she owed it to everyone that this has ever happened to, every nurse who has ever been bullied by a law enforcement officer or otherwise but didn’t have the video, so people wouldn’t believe them," Porter said.
Porter added it is going to take much more than a policy change, which Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Jackie Biskupski said has happened in their press conference Friday, although neither elaborated on what that "policy change" meant. Porter said she has not seen an official copy of said policy change.
According to Porter, Wubbels is waiting to see how the process works out, and then she will make a decision on how to proceed based on the outcome.