LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)- The family of Karen Garner released a statement after more controversial video was released of her arrest by Loveland police officers. Garner and her attorney have since filed a federal lawsuit against the police department accusing Officer Austin Hopp of using excessive force.
Garner is 73 years old and has dementia. In June of 2020, she was accused of taking nearly $14 worth of items from a nearby Walmart. When Hopp approached her, she turned away. Moments later, Hopp grabs her wrists and forces her to the ground.READ MORE: Colorado Springs Shooting: Neighbors Stunned To Learn 7 Dead At Birthday Party
On April 26, CBS4’s Dillon Thomas first obtained new surveillance video of Hopp and other officers acknowledging the possibility Garner may have been injured, and Hopp’s realization Garner might suffer from a disability.
“Did you hear that pop?” Hopp asked Officer Jalali, who denied hearing anything during the arrest.
“I was pushing, pushing, pushing. I hear, (Hopp makes sound of pop) and I was like, oh no,” Hopp said.
“That’s going to turn into something,” Jalali responds. “No doubt, with all the cars that stopped.”
Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, broken arm and sprained wrist and her attorney claimed she was denied medical attention for hours.
Garner’s family released the following statement about the new surveillance video.
“We want to first thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the support that’s been shown for our family and Karen during this time. The truth is that we are devastated. Karen is our mother. She is our children’s grandmother. She is a human being. The Loveland Police treated her like an animal. They laughed and fist-bumped while they were doing it. They reveled in her pain and did nothing to address it. They relished in stripping her of all dignity. We are physically sickened. We are angry. Our hearts could not possibly ache any more.
Our mother was forever changed by this event. Once fiercely independent, happy, carefree and a great lover of the outdoors, she is now fearful, distrusting, reclusive. Sad. Look at what they did to her. It is no wonder why.READ MORE: Pedro Juan Gallegos Arrested, Accused In Weekend Shooting Of Denver Police Officer
We want to know: When is Loveland going to be accountable for what they did? How much more can it take? The City of Loveland’s current silence and inaction is a slap in the face. What more could anyone need to see after watching these videos. They care more about protecting their officers and themselves than they do about the people they’ve hurt. It just doesn’t make any sense. We are heartbroken.”
Hopp and Jalali were taken off of patrol following the lawsuit. Hopp was placed on administrative leave while Jalali was assigned to desk duty. Officer Tyler Blackett and Sergeant Antolina Hill have been added to the civil rights lawsuit filed by attorney Sarah Schielke.
“We will have an independent investigation. We will have the lawsuit to work through. And, to be frank with you, we were not aware of the serious bodily injury. That was first brought to our attention yesterday,” said Chief Ticer.
Garner’s attorney told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas her client is asking a jury to provide a substantial financial payout, one which she believes is the only way the city can potentially make right on the case. She added on Tuesday the family wants answers.
“They want justice for Karen. They want justice for all the other vulnerable, powerless people that have been hurt by this police department. They want these five officers fired immediately. They want them to be criminally charged yesterday. They want the City leadership that hired these individuals and fostered this culture of abuse removed. Enough investigating. The police have known about this for 10 months and the videos speak for themselves. It’s time for action. It’s time for accountability and change in the City of Loveland starting right now,” said Sarah Schielke.
CBS4’s Alan Gionet asked Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh if she felt the city had been getting the straight story from the chief, she said “In general, I think the council is not as informed on many things as we should be.”
Marsh says there are hundreds of calls and emails coming in.
“This is not something that I want to identify with. I don’t think our citizens want to identify.”MORE NEWS: Winter Driving Returns To Colorado's I-70 Mountain Corridor, Truckers Will Need Chains