Chicago Nurse Sues After Being Arrested for Asking to Speak to a Supervisor Before Taking Blood of a Suspect

WBBM0921nursearrestLisa Hofstra, a nurse at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Chicago and a Chicago Police officer named Rodriguez (first name unknown) after she was arrested for wanting to speak to a supervisor before taking the blood from a suspect on Rodriguez’s orders.

Hofstra was the nurse in charge when Rodriguez demanded that she take a blood sample from a suspected drunken driver. Since the suspect was not admitted, there are obvious liability and ethical issues presented by such a demand. Hofstra made the reasonable request to speak first to a supervisor. Rodriguez allegedly responded by losing his temper, arresting Hofstra, and putting her in cuffs in a patrol car.

It is hard to imagine a rationale to support such conduct or the alleged crime that she was arrested for by Rodriguez. A police officer cannot order a nurse or doctor to perform this procedure against their will. Such an arrest, therefore, is doubly abusive and should raise serious questions about the fitness of this individual to serve as an officer.

For a video account from Hofstra, click here.

For the story, click here and here

24 thoughts on “Chicago Nurse Sues After Being Arrested for Asking to Speak to a Supervisor Before Taking Blood of a Suspect”

  1. TomD.Arch,

    An arrest occurs when you are not free to leave. But for him being a pig, it would have been a false imprisonment. I meant to say Police Officer. Oops damage done.

  2. Was the nurse technically “arrested”? The local news story said that she was held in the squad car until someone else drew the blood and then she was “released.” This does not sound like an arrest, where one is typically taken to a station and charged with some crime.

    How does “false imprisonment” differ from “kidnapping” under IL law? From a layman’s point of view, it seems that when a police officer does not have legal grounds to arrest someone, but still grabs someone and moves them around against their will, this is the same as some man grabbing a woman off the street and holding her in his car until he feels like letting her go, otherwise known as “kidnapping.”

    Is “false imprisonment” listed above just a special-case law for cops so that they aren’t liable under the broader kidnapping law?

    (FYI to readers around the country/world: a sizable chunk of Chicago’s budget (also known as “my tax dollars at work”) goes to paying people (or their families, if they were killed) who were harmed by Chicago police officers.)

  3. There is a new “pilot” program in Texas and Idaho to allow police to draw blood directly without taking suspects to a hospital. In Arizona police have used the Taser on individuals repeatedly in order to force them to submit to these blood test. I’m sure this will all work out well:

    “I was looking at people’s arms and hands, thinking, ‘I could draw from that,'” [Officer] Dowell said.

  4. “The tort of false imprisonment [in Illinois] is defined as “an unlawful restraint of an individual’s personal liberty or freedom of locomotion.” Toothman v. Hardee’s Food Sys., 304 Ill. App. 3d 521 (5th Dist. 1999).

    The essential elements of a cause of action for false imprisonment are that:
    (1) The plaintiff was restrained by the defendant; and
    (2) The defendant acted without having reasonable grounds
    to believe that the plaintiff committed an offense.
    Reynolds v. Menard, Inc., 365 Ill. App. 3d 812 (1st Dist. 2006); Toothman v. Hardee’s Food Sys., 304 Ill. App. 3d 521 (5th Dist. 1999).”

    (From Tim Rabel, Esq. @ Querrey & Harrow, Ltd.)

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