Officers from the Loveland Police Department were caught on video laughing and joking after arresting an elderly woman with dementia by using excessive force.
The lengthy CCTV video was released on Monday and shows three Colorado police officers laughing and praising each other for handling the woman.
They threw 73-year-old Karen Garner, who has dementia and weighs only 80 pounds, to the floor during her arrest last year. This resulted in the dislocation of her shoulder and fracturing of her wrist.
Officers Daria Jalali, Tyler Blackett and Austin Hopp, the one who cuffed the woman, can be heard giggling and calling her “senile” and “ancient.”
New: Video shows Loveland police officers laughing, joking about violently arresting 73-year-old woman with dementia. They re-watched the body camera footage together, said it was like watching TV: https://t.co/K5T2Uq8KzY
— Elise Schmelzer (@EliseSchmelzer) April 26, 2021
Hopp was even “excited” he got to use the hobble restraint method for the first time during an arrest.
“Ready for the pop? Here comes the pop,” Hopp said, indicating the cops knew that Garner needed medical attention but did not provide any until hours after she was subdued.
“The Loveland Police treated her like an animal. They laughed and fist-bumped while they were doing it. They reveled in her pain and did nothing to address it. They relished in stripping her of all dignity. We are physically sickened. We are angry. Our hearts could not possibly ache anymore,” Garner’s family said in a statement after seeing the shocking footage.
Here’s video of an @LPDtweets officer saying how “super excited” and “proud” he was of using force against Karen Garner, an 80lbs 73 yo grandma, who he violently wrestled to the ground fracturing her arm and dislocating her shoulder. “Alright let’s wrestle girl! Let’s wreck it!” pic.twitter.com/Tf4dEOrYAH
— Naveed Jamali (@NaveedAJamali) April 26, 2021
After the incident, Garner filed a lawsuit against the city and the three cops involved.
An amended complaint was later added to include more officers for failing to get her the medical attention she needed.
Sarah Schielke, Garner’s lawyer, said the following in a statement:
“This is utterly disgusting. These videos cannot be unseen or unheard. I am sorry to have to share them with the public. This will be traumatic and deeply upsetting for everyone to see.
But as it often goes with bad police departments, it seems this is the only way to make them change.
It is important to note that the laughing, jokes, and cavalier disregard of Ms. Garner’s mental and physical health shown by the Loveland Police Officers in this booking area video occurred at the height of the nationwide protests regarding police brutality and lack of accountability. This makes the video’s content even more damning,” she added in a statement to The Hill.
“It shows that it was universally understood among the officers in Loveland that they would not be subjected to any such scrutiny. That their ability to abuse their power was, in their minds, untouchable.”
Karen Garner’s family speaks out about her arrest by Loveland police: ‘She hasn’t come back the way she was right before’ https://t.co/qe0iFst9E3
— Reporter-Herald (@reporterherald) April 27, 2021
According to The Washington Post, 8th Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin (in charge of the investigation into the officers’ actions) said the following:
“The statements on the videos are very concerning.
I will consider those statements along with all relevant evidence … in making a charging decision.”
Keeps getting worse.
Karen Garner's lawyer released a new video she said shows the officers knew of her injuries at the time of her arrest and neglected to provide medical attention. https://t.co/71xp5PxliN
— Kelly Reinke (@KellyReinkeTV) April 26, 2021
The woman was arrested while she was picking wildflowers from the side of the road after Walmart employees called the police on her for allegedly trying to leave the store without paying for her items, worth $13.88, and trying to remove a store worker’s mask.
“Our mother was forever changed by this event. Once fiercely independent, happy, carefree and a great lover of the outdoors, she is now fearful, distrusting, reclusive. Sad. Look at what they did to her. It is no wonder why,” Garner’s family said.
“I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground,” Hopp can be heard saying in the video.
You can see the full video by clicking below.
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