LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Loveland City Council heard public comment on Tuesday night from residents upset about the forceful arrest of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia. Body cam footage shows police confront Garner in June of 2020 after she was accused of stealing $14 worth of merchandise from a Walmart.
In a lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department, Garner’s attorney claims she suffered a dislocated shoulder, broken arm and sprained wrist and was denied medical attention for hours. Additional video obtained from an open records request shows officers joking about the arrest.
“The public is outraged, we’re getting hundreds of phone calls and emails,” Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh said in an interview with CBS4. “I can say that my heart goes out to Karen and her family. Because we are litigation, we are kind of bound in doing, going further than that.”
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, residents expressed disappointment in the police department and city leaders.
“The city manager needs to recognize that these officers have violated a sworn duty to serve and protect the public,” said one caller during the public comment period. “The community needs to know that this behavior isn’t tolerated.”
“I found the actions captured in this video deeply troubling and not reflective of the values of our organization’s staff ,” said Steve Adams, Loveland City Manager.
There was discussion at the city council meeting about creating a police oversight board. The Loveland Police Department is not commenting on the lawsuit due to the ongoing criminal investigation, ordered by the 8th Judicial District Attorney. The four officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the independent investigation.
Garner’s family released a statement to CBS4, which says in part:
“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.”