LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The attorney for Karen Garner, the 73-year-old woman with dementia who was arrested by Loveland police in 2020, released a statement on Friday after three Loveland police officers submitted their resignations.
“It is long overdue that these three became unemployed. However Sergeant Metzler, their
supervisor directly involved in this torturous event, remains a paid Loveland Police
Officer. This is unacceptable. Sergeant Antolina Hill, who heard Karen cry out in pain
from the cell and who also personally read Hopp’s use of force report and notarized it,
remains on duty,” Attorney Sarah Schielke said in the statement.
In body camera footage from the arrest on June 26, 2020, Officer Austin Hopp approached Garner and questioned her about leaving Walmart. She repeatedly replied, “I’m going home.”
Within a few seconds, she is handcuffed on the ground and a second officer arrives on scene.
Garner is walked to the patrol car in cuffs. Then both officers take her out of the patrol vehicle, put her on the ground, and proceed to use restraints to tie her feet together.
Schielke filed a civil rights lawsuit stemming from Garner’s arrest after she was accused of stealing from a nearby Walmart. Schielke claims Garner was injured as a result of the arrest.
Hopp, Officer Daria Jalali who was on scene of the arrest and Officer Tyler Blackett are all no longer employed by the department, Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer announced on Friday.
All three had been on leave after video was released showing them making comments while reviewing the body cam footage. Some of the comments made were about how it was a good arrest and how you could hear the pop in Garner’s shoulder as she was on the ground.
“This family deserves swift justice. And any investigations pursued ought to be done by
parties outside of Larimer County. Not by Loveland’s “partner” agencies and Loveland’s
insurance provider,” Schielke said.
Schielke questioned Ticer’s role as the chief of the department and toxic culture problems within the Loveland Police Department.
The Garner family responded to the announcement of the officers’ resignations as well:
Today we listened to Chief Ticer give a speech singularly endeavoring to protect only himself and the reputation of the LPD. He repeatedly dodged questions regarding our family. He made no reference to Karen personally. And just like on June 26, 2020, the inhumane treatment of our mother was ignored and his continued support of the department was the focus. He said that our mother’s case has “hurt him personally.” It is clear that the only thing that has “hurt him personally” has been the attention this case has brought to his department. Not what happened to our mother. We are disappointed.
There is a protest planned at the Loveland Police Department Saturday at noon to demand justice for Garner.
Hundreds of people have signaled they plan to attend. They also want every law enforcement and city official who knew of the incident but did not take action to be fired or quit.
“This is not going to be a demonstration that elicits violence,” Jen Castaneda said, who is helping to organize the event. “We really want the community to come together and show we are a community. We want to bring the love back to Loveland.”