LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer declined an offer to resign in exchange for $50,000 to charity, made by local attorney Sarah Schielke. Schielke, who represents the family of Karen Garner, made the offer after the city agreed to pay $3 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit against the department.
Garner, who lives with dementia, suffered from a broken arm, separated shoulder and sprained wrist after an incident involving former officer Austin Hopp. Hopp tackled Garner after she refused to stop during an attempted theft investigation.
Garner was thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Later her shoulder was shoved out of socket before being tackled to the ground again.
Four months after the lawsuit against the department was filed, the city agreed to pay $3 million to Garner and her family.
At the press conference announcing the settlement, Schielke offered to buy Ticer’s resignation with a donation to the Alzheimer’s or dementia charity of his choice.
“I think is admirable that, if somebody has the means to donate $50,000, they should do that. We should all step up and support that,” Ticer told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Ticer said he would not step down, saying it was his responsibility to oversee the completion of a thorough investigation into the actions of his officers.
“There is no excuse under any circumstances for what happened to Ms. Garner,” Ticer said. “There’s a lot of anger and people upset, and with that comes demands for change. There’s always going to be demands for change and that is expected.”
Ticer said he could not comment on if personnel changes were potential for those directly involved in the Garner case. Hopp, and fellow responding officer Daria Jalali, both resigned and are now facing criminal charges.
“I am employed as Loveland Police Chief. It is my responsibility to assure this agency handles the arrest of Ms. Garner as professionally and transparent as possible,” Ticer said. “I understand the emotion, I understand those demands. My responsibility here is to assure that the investigations moving forward are handled professionally and with transparency.”
Ticer promised to make changes within his department when it came to training and response.
Ticer said his department will start conducting listening sessions with the community. They will also expand their mental health response team, as well as furthering training in de-escalation.
Loveland Police will also reevaluate their use of force policy.
“If an organization is not changing, they are not growing,” Ticer said.
With a $3 million settlement, and promises to improve his police department, Ticer said he hoped the community and Garner family will see the city’s efforts to right a wrong.
“Will that change what happened to Ms. Garner? Absolutely not, but I hope there’s some accountability associated with that large sum,” Ticer said.