Colorado Cop Breaks Arm of Elderly Lady With Dementia in Bodycam Video

A lawsuit has been filed against a Colorado police department over claims their officers used excessive force during the arrest of a 73-year-old woman.

Civil rights attorney Sarah Schielke, of The Life & Liberty Law Office, filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Karen Garner, who was detained by the Loveland Police Department in June 2020.

The suit claims Garner, who has dementia, suffered a dislocated shoulder, broken arm and other injuries when she was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting $13.88 worth of items from a Walmart close to her Loveland home.

According to Schielke, forgetting to pay for items at a store is one of the most common and well-known symptoms witnessed in elderly persons suffering from dementia.

Bodycam video footage lasting nearly 30 minutes showing the officers detaining Garner was made public along with the lawsuit.

In the clip, Officer Austin Hopp spots Garner walking down the side of the road, gets out of his vehicle and commands her to stop.

Garner can be seen continuing to walk down the street, to which Hopp replies: "I don't think you really want to play it this way."

When the officer asks if she heard the sirens going off, Garner appears confused and shrugs her shoulders. The officer then asks: "Do you need to be arrested right now?"

Garner turns begins to walk away, at which point Hopp grabs her both arms from behind, pins her to the ground and places her in handcuffs.

Throughout the 27-minute unedited video, Garner can be heard telling the officer: "I'm going home."

Hopp says he is detaining the elderly woman for resisting arrest and for stealing the items at Walmart.

Around three minutes into the video, Officer Daria Jalali arrives at the scene. The suit alleges that Jalali assisted Hopp in "violently and needlessly dislocating Ms. Garner's shoulder, fracturing her humerus, and spraining her wrist" by detaining her and forcing her on the ground to "hog-tie" her when she continues to resist.

Schielke claims that even after her arrest, no one from the Loveland Police Department sought medical care or obtained mental health assistance for Garner.

"Instead, the officers handcuffed her to a cell at the station for over two hours, keeping her isolated and terrified, in extreme pain, and then deposited her at the Larimer County jail where they lied and said she was uninjured, which ensured she continued to not receive medical treatment for another two hours," a statement from The Life & Liberty Law Office said.

The Loveland Police Department has been contacted for comment.

"Ms. Garner's experience with Loveland Police is not about bad apples," Schielke said. "It is about culture. And the culture in Loveland is one of lack of care, lack of humility. Loveland Police officers have enrobed themselves with a completely unaccountable authoritarian superiority.

"They demand total obedience and submission from everyone—including the disabled elderly—and if you don't immediately capitulate, they will make you pay for it."

"This is not community policing. This is community terrorism," added Schielke.

"Ms. Garner is one of the most vulnerable members of our community—a mother, a grandmother, a tiny, frail human with cognitive disabilities—and they treated her like an animal. if this is what they're doing to a terrified elderly lady with dementia, what do you think they're doing to everyone else?"

 Loveland Police
An excessive force lawsuit has been filed against the Loveland Police Department in connection with a June 2020 arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia. The Life & Liberty Law Office