LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The FOX31 Problem Solvers obtained surveillance footage showing what led Walmart employees to call Loveland Police, who responded and arrested a 73-year-old woman with dementia.
Footage sent to the Problem Solvers from Karen Garner’s attorney captures the grandmother walking with Walmart employees, then reaching and apparently pulling down an employee’s face mask.
Walmart said that apparent interaction is why the associates called Loveland police.
Footage of the arrest that transpired is prompting an ADA lawsuit and now two different independent investigations. The first, ordered by Larimer County’s district attorney, will be conducted by the Fort Collins police department. The second, will come from a third party hired by the city of Loveland.
“There will be a separate internal investigation the city will conduct,” Loveland Police Public Information Officer Tom Hacker said. “That won’t happen until after the critical response team investigation is completed and we don’t know yet who will be conducting that investigation.”
An article from the Loveland Reporter-Herald quotes a city official stating the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, the city’s insurance agency, will likely conduct the third party investigation.
“We think what the District Attorney’s office is doing is a good step in the right direction but what the city of Loveland is doing, in terms of having their insurance company do an ‘outside independent investigation,’ feels like a slap in the face,” Karen Garner’s attorney, Sarah Schielke said. “That is the company that cuts the check if Loveland gets in trouble, so that’s pretty outrageous.”
“We may consult with the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, ” Hacker said. Adding, “They typically will recommend investigators but that does not mean that we won’t seek a truly independent third party investigation. I believe that is what is in store for the department for their internal affairs investigation”
Loveland Police Department’s chief addressed the community Tuesday night during a city council session.
“We’ve … heard so much concern from or community and … the police department, we share that concern as well and understand the gravity and severity of this incident,” said Robert Ticer. “When you have incidents like this occur … we understand that there’s a breach of trust. The police department understands that and the community understands that.”