On June 26, 2020, 73-year-old Karen Garner who suffers from dementia walked to Walmart to get less than fifteen dollars worth of groceries. Garner attempted to leave the store with her items, but without actually purchasing them.
When Walmart employees approached her, Garner offered to pay for her items. The employees refused, took the items back and demanded she leave the store.
After she left, they called the police which resulted in a violent arrest that left Garner injured.
The officers arrested Garner for attempting to steal and resisting arrest, but did not inform anyone Garner was injured which prompted her family to file a lawsuit on her behalf.
In over an hour of footage from bodycams and inside the jail, footage of officers reviewing the bodycam video was found.
Their conversation about Garner angered people who watched it.
You can view the footage here:
Garner's family worked with attorney Sarah Schielke of the Life & Liberty Law Office to file a civil lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department in Colorado.
Karen Garner weighs 80 pounds Is five feet tall. She suffered dislocated shoulder, broken bone and sprained wrist… https://t.co/0zwi5AilC5— Chris Vanderveen (@Chris Vanderveen)1618462407.0
While Garner was sitting, injured, in the cell, the officers wrote up their reports and began to review footage from the incident.
They joked repeatedly about how Garner struggled, how they threw her on the ground and the popping sound her arm made when it dislocated from its socket. Officer Jalali even joked she had blood on her from the struggle, but was unconcerned because it wasn't her own—it was Garner's.
While playing back the footage, Officer Hopp told another officer:
"Get ready for the pop."
"Did you hear the pop?"
They were then caught on camera fist-bumping for a "job well done."
Viewers were deeply disturbed by the lack of empathy demonstrated.
@EliseSchmelzer Just when I thought it couldn't be any worse than it already was. LPD should be ashamed.— colorado_native (@colorado_native)1619444760.0
Watch at 9:45 mark. This was entertainment for them. 😪 Watch "Karen Garner Arrest - Horrific Highlight Reel from B… https://t.co/lW9uBIxJjs— 🇺🇲😷Jus Kix😷🇺🇲 (@🇺🇲😷Jus Kix😷🇺🇲)1619462374.0
Shoulder poppin cops 😡 Karen Garner Arrest - Horrific Highlight Reel from Booking Area https://t.co/wEgVMjQaDJ via @YouTube— Star Child - wanna fly? let go of your shit (@Star Child - wanna fly? let go of your shit)1619599606.0
The Loveland Police Department stated they're taking this seriously, but people are not convinced as the arrest occurred in June of 2020.
We have received messages from constituents deeply concerned about events cited in the Garner vs. City of Loveland… https://t.co/R9kq6HNoai— Loveland, Colorado (@Loveland, Colorado)1618853487.0
@Srwilliams777 @CityofLoveland OMG they are laughing. I can't even believe it. This incident occurred almost a ye… https://t.co/bA91Ge4HbQ— BandeleGaniyu (@BandeleGaniyu)1619501316.0
@CityofLoveland I don’t think anything should be confidential about this topic. I live in Loveland, I pay my fair s… https://t.co/9Ba4LOAfml— Mark McKeen (@Mark McKeen)1619497568.0
Attorney Schielke stated after the video was available:
"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."
The investigation and lawsuit for Garner and her family is ongoing, but it's clear the community in Loveland is not happy with their police department.
For duly sworn officers to laugh in response to an elderly woman's injuries and confusion is undoubtedly alarming for the city's residents.