Loveland, CO — On June 26, 2020, Karen Garner, 73, walked from her home to the local Walmart two blocks away to get some supplies. Everything that happened after this trip to Walmart is now the subject of an excessive force lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department because they have no idea how to treat elderly women with dementia. For nearly a year, the cops who savagely attacked the elderly woman, thought they got away with it. However, in April, the Loveland city manager announced that Officer Austin Hopp, Officer Daria Jalali, Sgt. Phil Metzler, and Community service officer Tyler Blackett have all been suspended and placed on administrative leave. Then, in May, Jalali and Hopp were both charged.
At the time, the chief of the Loveland police department, Robert Ticer referred to the incident, saying, “What you saw on the video is not the Loveland Police Department.”
However, as the case moves forward, the department is circling the wagons and is going to bat for the officers, even defending their cruel actions.
“This arrest and subsequent use of force was within policy and the minor force that was used was reasonable and appropriate for the situation,” Sergeant Phillip Metzler wrote in defense of the officers.
According to a newly released video, it appears that Meltzer's defense of these sadistic cops started at the beginning. When a man tried to complain to the cops about Garner's abuse, Meltzer told him, “They didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t do anything wrong. She committed a crime.”
But Garner didn't really break the law at all. She walked out of the Walmart and right back in and gave them the items back. Having dementia is not a crime.
As TFTP reported, body camera video showed the officers attack Garner. However, after media began picking up on her story, another video was released showing that officers knew about the injuries they caused, neglected to provide aid, and laughed and celebrated their brutality against an elderly woman with dementia.
As 9News reported at the time, the officers' initial report said Garner, who has dementia, was not injured. Her lawyer, Sarah Schielke, said the officers dislocated Garner's shoulder, broke a bone in her arm and sprained her wrist.
Schielke alleges the video shows the three arresting officers watching body camera video of Garner's arrest, laughing and celebrating the excessive force, and fist-bumping the fact that one of the officers intimidated a citizen who stopped to make a complaint.
Only because the video was released and drew the appropriate criticism did the department react.
What should have been a situation in which an officer offers an elderly woman a ride home turned into senior citizen abuse at the hands of Loveland's finest.
As we reported, like those with dementia often do, Garner simply grabbed her items in Walmart that day and walked out. She was quickly confronted by store security who then guided her back into the store for accidentally failing to pay for $13.88 worth of items.
After being escorted back into the building, Garner realized her mistake and tried to pay for the items but the store called police anyway. By the time police arrived, Garner had left the store and was walking home. She had left the items back at the store and no crime had been committed.
When police arrived, the interaction was captured on body camera footage.
Officer Hopp said, "Alright let's stop ma'am. I don't think you want to play it this way. Ma'am, police. Stop," as he exited his patrol car.
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Clearly illustrating her dementia, when Garner tries to respond to the officer, she simply mumbles.
But officer Hopp couldn't have cared less that this was an elderly woman suffering from dementia, who by this time, had committed no crime. He just knew he had to escalate force.
After just two minutes, this "hero" cop tackles the frail elderly woman with dementia to the ground and puts her in handcuffs.
According to the lawsuit, when a second cop, officer Jalali arrived, she "put her own hands on Ms. Garner to hold her while Officer Hopp continued pushing painfully upward on Ms. Garner’s already-restrained left arm and while also violently touching her all over her body."
Illustrating how confused and scared Garner was, the entire time, she kept telling the officers, "I'm going home."
"It makes you very worried about vulnerable people in the community with a police force like that," Schielke said. "The behavior is indefensible they knew they were being recorded and yet they did it anyway, we have to ask, 'why?'"
In the video, we can hear the cops talking about Garner bleeding and then plotting all the charges against her. Every single one of the contrived charges had to do with cops escalating force against an innocent woman with dementia.
The cops were so rough with Garner they left her bloody and with broken bones. Despite her clearly visible injuries, according to the lawsuit, police brought her to jail and then denied her care. Instead of tending to her injuries, police left her chained to a cell for hours.
"The officers handcuffed her to a cell at the station for over 2 hours, keeping her isolated and terrified, in extreme pain, and then deposited her at the Larimer County jail where they lied and said she was uninjured, which ensured she continued to not receive medical treatment for another 3 hours,” the law office wrote in a press release.
The video evidence was so disturbing that on Wednesday, the taxpayers of Loveland found out that they will be shelling out $3 million to pay for the brutal acts of their city's police force.
When you watch the video of officers fist bumping and laughing at the abuse they doled out to a senior citizen with dementia, you'll know what the settlement was so large. And these are the folks the thin blue line crowd wants us to blindly worship. Never.