LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The police officers who arrested a 73-year-old Colorado woman with dementia, dislocating her shoulder and fracturing her wrist over a $14 unpaid grocery bill, knew the woman was hurt but failed to assist her as they watched back the body came footage, video released by the woman’s lawyer shows.
Attorney Sarah Schielke released the 45-minute booking video in which three Loveland Police Department (LPD) officers are seen laughing about the incident as the woman, Karen Garner, sat handcuffed to a bench in a nearby cell.
Schielke said Garner’s family hired a sound engineer to enhance the audio on the booking videos from the day of Garner’s June 2020 arrest. Schielke released an amended lawsuit Monday, saying the booking video proves officers knew Garner was injured.
Although the LPD said they were not aware Garner was injured during the arrest until a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed earlier this month, the officers can be heard laughing about the incident.
In the booking video, at one point, the female officer can be heard asking, “Can you stop it now?” One of the male officers responds, “Ready for the pop? Hear the pop?”
Another male officer responds, asking, “What’d you pop?”
The male officer responds, “I think it was her shoulder.”
As the video continues, the female officer visibly hides her face with her hat and hands. At one point she can be heard saying, “I hate this.”
One of the male officers responds to her asking, “What?” She responds again saying, “I hate this.” The male officer follows up with laughter saying, “I love it.”
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In response to the revelations seen in the booking area videos, Schielke shared, “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. They have to be exposed. If I didn’t release this, the Loveland Police’s toxic culture of arrogance and entitlement, along with their horrific abuse of the vulnerable and powerless, would carry on, business as usual. I won’t be a part of that.”
“Loveland knew. They’ve known all along,” Schielke continues. “They failed Karen Garner. They
failed the community. And they did it all on camera. Do you realize how horrifying that is? That means they were used to getting away with it. That the comfortable norm in Loveland is one of zero
accountability. That this is not just some ‘isolated incident.’ It is not just one single ‘problem.’ It is
widespread, sociopathic criminality. And to attempt to shift the burden to Karen, or a bystander, or
her family, or counsel, to report this? Shame on you, Loveland. You took an oath to protect and serve. This is a disgrace.”
Garner’s family will release an updated statement on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the Loveland Police Department released the following statement Monday morning:
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.
Schielke’s original lawsuit claims the arrest violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and alleges the Loveland Police Department failed to train on the use of force on disabled, unarmed citizens.
Last Monday, the district attorney’s office launched an independent criminal investigation of the Loveland Police Department’s use of force during the arrest.