Family of 73-year-old woman with dementia responds to new video from Loveland Police Department

Local News

LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Earlier this week, new video was released from the booking area of the Loveland Police Department following the June 2020 arrest of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia.

Attorney Sarah Schielke’s lawsuit claims violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as claims against the Loveland Police Department for failing to train regarding the use of force on disabled, unarmed citizens.

Last Monday, the district attorney’s office launched an independent criminal investigation of Loveland Police Department’s use-of-force during the arrest.

Garner’s family released the following statement regarding the video from the booking area of the police department:

“We want to first thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the support
that’s been shown for our family and Karen during this time.
The truth is that we are devastated. Karen is our mother. She is our children’s
grandmother. She is a human being. 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 any more.

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.
We want to know: When is Loveland going to be accountable for what they did?
How much more can it take? The City of Loveland’s current silence and inaction
is a slap in the face. What more could anyone need to see after watching these
videos. They care more about protecting their officers and themselves than they
do about the people they’ve hurt. It just doesn’t make any sense. We are
heartbroken.”

A spokesperson for the Loveland Police Department released the following statement after the release of the booking area video:

All matters related to the arrest of Loveland resident Karen Garner in June 2020 are subject to a criminal investigation, ordered by the 8th Judicial District Attorney and conducted by Fort Collins Police Services.

The District Attorney’s action and the third-party investigation are in keeping with a multi-agency Critical Incident Response Team protocol.

Independent comment from the Loveland Police Department would not be appropriate at this time. LPD has faith in the due process that this investigation allows for.

The Loveland Police Department said it was not aware of Garner’s injuries until the lawsuit was filed more than nine months after the incident. The arresting officer has been placed on leave.

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