Radcliff, KY — For those who are seeking to reform how police take people into custody, to evaluate the events of the following story, one must remain objective.
Patricia Karsner lost custody of her two children to her common law husband. They were never married and it is unclear why she lost custody of her children.
According to court documents obtained by The Free Thought Project, Warren Tooley, the father of the two children was awarded custody of his two children he had with Karsner. The girls, ages 14, and 16, had been living with their mother, and her fiancé. It’s unclear if Child Protective Services had concluded their investigation and found the mother to be unfit, but the Jefferson Circuit Court, Family Division 10 awarded immediate custody to Tooley on September 10th, 2015.
When Tooley attempted to take custody of his daughters, the two teenagers ran away because they wanted to stay with their mother.
Karsner, possibly thinking that if she filed a missing persons report, stating the children ran away, that somehow she could retain custody of her girls. That’s what she did, according to officers who arrived at her home to check on the welfare of the children.
Upon arrival, on the 23rd of September, 2015, Karsner stated her children had “been home less than an hour.” The officers stated they had to check on the welfare of her children, an action Karsner said would be permissible, but only through the glass front door of their home. “You’re not welcome in my house. You can look at them. But you’re not coming in my house,” she said rather politely.
It wasn’t until this police refusal did police mention anything about an arrest warrant and seemingly used it as a means of retaliation.
Little did Karsner know it, but Tooley, her ex, had filed a criminal complaint against Karsner for interfering with his ability and obligation to take custody of the children. The complaint alleged that she had “feloniously interfered” with the custody of his children.
That’s when things quickly took a turn for the worse. Officers then informed Karsner she was under arrest and that they had a warrant to place her in custody. But it’s what happened next which has caused a great deal of pain to Karsner, and has reopened the conversation that needs to take place nationally, about how police officers make arrests.
When Radcliff, KY police officer, Sgt. Booker, put a wrist lock on her, and rotated his lock and her arm behind her back, he applied so much pressure moving upward, that Karsner’s arm was severely broken. This break required surgically implanted pins to stabilize, two surgeries to repair, and left her scarred for life.
The surgery wasn’t successful, according to Karsner, who told the Free Thought Project she’s been left with permanent nerve damage, and the loss of many functions in her arm, hand, and wrist.
From the body cam footage sent to us by Karsner, she can be seen trying to keep her children from being taken into custody and returned to their father. The officers attempted to reason with her long enough to establish the welfare of the children, and then placed her under arrest, breaking her arm in the process. “I think I just broke her arm. I just broke her arm,” an officer can be heard saying.
Karsner’s story is a common theme at The Free Thought Project, where, all too often, citizens are repeatedly abused, humiliated, insulted, beaten, tased, and mistreated by the police.
By all accounts, the police were just doing their jobs, ensuring the safety of the two innocents caught in the middle of two adults who could no longer live under the same roof. And that’s a problem within our society that no public official or officer of the peace can fix.
But what can be changed are the failed arrest policies which demand 100 percent compliance at all times. Whether it is a traffic stop, or a welfare check, when officers place their hands on subjects who are already emotionally unwell, the outcome can be disastrous, and the consequences, lifelong, something Karsner had to learn the hard way.
She told us in her own words that she’s lost everything as a result. “I’ve literally lost everything…my children, my home and everything I worked all my life for because of what happened…I lost my fiance and my two cats, one blind cat and one deaf cat…that I raised since they were kittens…all because of the financial crisis that event has put me in…I was in a 4 bedroom home with a fiance and 3 children, now I’m alone in a tiny studio apartment that I can’t even afford,” she said lamenting the events of that fateful day. She said she’ll, “never be able to use (her arm) to any decent level.”