Karen Garner, who has dementia, was arrested last June for leaving a Walmart in Loveland, Colorado with items valued at $ 13.88. This resulted in an amended lawsuit filed on Sunday. Police were called and the arrest left Garner with multiple injuries, including a broken humerus, a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist.
Loveland is about 50 miles north of Denver.
The amended complaint names Loveland City and five officials as defendants. The first lawsuit was filed on April 14th. CNN received body camera footage of the arrest from Garner’s attorney Sarah Schielke.
The amended lawsuit also includes a video of three officers – Austin Hopp, Daria Jalali, and Tyler Blackett, who are named in the lawsuit – laughing as they start looking at the body camera footage of Garner’s arrest, according to Schielke.
The family released a statement Tuesday that they were devastated because Garner is a “human” who was treated like an “animal” by Loveland police.
“We are physically ill. We are angry. Our hearts couldn’t possibly hurt more,” the statement read. “Previously very independent, happy, carefree and a great lover of nature, she is now fearful, suspicious and withdrawn.”
Schielke said in a press release that “enough research has been done. The police have known about it for 10 months and the videos speak for themselves. It is time to act.”
CNN has asked the Loveland Police Officers Association to comment on the first incident, as well as the amended complaint and additional video footage from the police station, but received no response Monday evening or Tuesday. It’s not clear if Hopp has a lawyer and attempts to reach out to Jalali and Blackett have been unsuccessful.
Loveland Police Department spokesman Tom Hacker made a statement to CNN: “All matters relating to the arrest of Loveland-resident Karen Garner in June 2020 are subject to a criminal investigation, ordered by the 8th District Attorney and by the police in Fort Collins (Colorado) was performing services. “
Hacker added, “An independent Loveland Police Department comment would not be appropriate at this time. LPD is relying on the due process to allow this investigation.”
Officers Say Body Camera Footage “Is Like Live TV”
The footage of the newly released video was taken in the Loveland Police Department’s booking section shortly after Garner’s arrest last June.
Hopp gives Jalali a punch when asked how the arrest went.
“Well, I thought it was great,” says Hopp, adding, “I think we squashed it.”
Later in the video, when officers start watching, Jalali, who helped make the arrest, says that body camera footage is “like live TV.”
Blackett responds with “the bodycam show” while someone giggles.
“Body cams are my favorite thing to do. I could watch livestream body cams all day,” says Jalali.
But when the three of them look further, Jalali seems uncomfortable with the video.
“Can you stop it now?” She asks.
“What?” Asks Hopp.
According to a YouTube transcription of the video, Hopp then asks, “Are you ready for the pop?” when Jalali covered her ears.
“Do you hear the pop?” Asks Hopp.
The pop is referring to something in the video, but it’s not clear what that is.
“I hate that,” says Jalali.
“That’s great,” replies Hopp.
“I hate it,” says Jalali.
“I love it,” Hopp fires back.
Schielke said the video and the conversations around him took place while Garner was in a cell 10 feet away. She stayed in this cell for two and a half hours, the lawsuit said, before she was taken to a hospital.
“During the 6 hours that Ms. Garner was held by Loveland and the prison, despite many jokes about her disability and mental incapacity, no one tried to find Ms. Garner’s caregiver, to comfort her, to help her, to de-escalate her or to help her make their loved ones aware of their dire situation, “the lawsuit said.
Hopp was put on administrative leave and reassigned to Jalali.
The prosecutor will investigate the incident
“The statements in the videos are very worrying,” said District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin. “I will take these statements into account, along with any relevant evidence compiled by the Critical Incident Response Team, when making a fee decision.”
McLaughlin says there isn’t a set time frame to complete the investigation, but it’s a priority for his office.
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