3 Loveland PD employees resign after arrest of 73-year-old with dementia

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LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Three former employees of the Loveland Police Department have resigned after their involvement in arresting and booking a 73-year-old woman with dementia.

Karen Garner was arrested last summer. Body cam footage shows police forcing her to the ground, and according to her lawyer she was injured as a result.

Officer Austin Hopp, who arrested Garner, Officer Daria Jalali who was also on the scene and Officer Tyler Blackett are all no longer employed by the department, the chief announced Friday.

“We failed and we are very sorry for what happened,” Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer said. 

All three had been on leave for several days after video from inside the police station that showed them reviewing the body cam footage was released. During the video several comments were made about how it was a good arrest and how you could hear the pop in Garner’s shoulder as she was on the ground.

Ticer was asked if any other officers knew about serious injuries Garner sustained during her arrest and booking.

“You’re asking questions that will be asked in the internal affairs investigation. Those are the types of questions should be asked. Will be asked and the answers will be forthcoming,” Ticer said. 

Garner was arrested after leaving a nearby Walmart where employees thought she was stealing several items. Video from inside the store shows employees confronting her and her removing one of their face masks.

Body cam footage shows Hopp confront Garner, who appears to be confused, and then take her to the ground and handcuff her.

Loveland civil rights attorney Sarah Schielke filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department and three officers on the behalf of Garner earlier this month.

Shortly after the news conference, FOX31 spoke to attorney Sarah Schielke who is representing Garner. Schielke said the chief was not fit for the job and demanded more of the chief himself. 

“I would like to see his resignation. That’s the only acceptable response at this point following both of these videos. He is the leader of that organization. He failed,” Schielke said. 

A rally is planned to take place in front of the Loveland Police Department at noon on Saturday in support of Garner.

“It’s a great start. I was very happy about it,” Ann McDonald of Loveland who is organizing the rally said.

“(The rally is) more going to be about educating the public about certain disabilities in particular the two that affect Karen,” McDonald said. 

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