Police officers in Loveland, Colorado, violently arrested a 73-year-old woman with dementia and allegedly dislocated her shoulder. Then they watched body camera footage of the incident and joked about it, as video released today by the woman's attorney shows.
Surveillance video from the booking area of the Loveland Police Department shows three officers reviewing the footage of the June 26, 2020, arrest of Karen Garner.
"Ready for the pop?" an officer in the video, identified by Garner's attorneys as Austin Hopp, says to the other officer as they watch the footage.
"What'd you pop?" another officer asks.
"I think it was her shoulder," Hopp responds.
Garner filed a lawsuit on April 14 alleging that Hopp fractured her arm and dislocated her shoulder after stopping her for allegedly shoplifting $13.88 worth of items from Walmart.
According to the lawsuit, Garner suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia, which makes it difficult for her to communicate and understand other people. Garner was walking home and picking wildflowers. She didn't initially respond to Hopp's commands to stop and appeared not to understand him.
"I don't think you want to play it this way," Hopp said as she continued to walk away from him. "Do you need to be arrested right now?"
Body camera footage of the incident, released with the lawsuit, shows Hopp then throwing a disoriented and confused Garner to the ground while twisting her arm behind her. "I'm going home," Garner yells.
The Loveland Police Department has placed Hopp on administrative leave and reassigned Daria Jalali, another officer named in the lawsuit, to administrative duties while it investigates the incident.
The local district attorney also announced last week that his office is investigating the incident for possible criminal charges.
"I hate it," Jalali says as they watch the body camera footage together.
"I love it," Hopp responds.
"I can't believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground," Hopp says elsewhere in the video.
Garner's lawsuit alleges she did not receive medical care for more than six hours after her arrest.
Loveland police chief Bob Ticer told the Loveland Reporter-Herald last week that police officials did not learn about Garner's injuries until the lawsuit was filed.
"These videos cannot be unseen or unheard. I am sorry to have to share them with the public," Sarah Schielke, Garner's attorney, said in a statement released with the booking video. "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."
The Loveland Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.