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Several Colorado police officers are being sued after an officer allegedly dislocated and fractured an elderly woman’s arm during an arrest and then bragged about the incident while sharing the video with coworkers and refusing her medical care.
Video the of incident that occurred in June of last year, was released to the public last week after a public outcry.
According to the report, employees of a Walmart contacted Loveland police after a woman identified as 73-year-old Karen Garner, allegedly walked out of the store without paying for several items and pulled down an employee’s face mask when they tried to stop her.
Authorities finally caught up to Garner as she walked home, picking flowers. Bodycam video shows an officer by the name of Austin Hopp grab Garner by her arms as he attempted to handcuff her hands behind her back. Garner is heard repeatedly saying “going home.” At one point during the struggle, Garner fell to the ground. Officers were eventually able to get Garner into the police cruiser to take her to the police station.
Inside the station, Hopp suggested that Garner may be a little senile and that she should be handcuffed to a bench. Garner was then left on the bench in pain for an hour as authorities worked to process her for booking, according to the family’s lawsuit.
During that time, Hopp was captured on the police station’s surveillance and audio equipment showing fellow officers the moment the woman’s arm was dislocated from her shoulder. “Ready for the pop? Hear the pop?” Hopp was heard saying while standing a few feet away from Garner.
A female officer who was present during the arrest is then heard saying “I hate this” before putting her hat over her eyes, while another male officer watching the video said “I love it.”
Garner’s attorney Sarah Schielke called the video “heart-wrenching.”
” At one point, I broke down and I wept because it was so raw, wrong and heartless,” Schielke told reporters at the Washington Post. ” I don’t even know Karen, but it could have been my grandmother and I can’t imagine what the experience of having to live through that would be.”
Garner was then taking to a cell where though she complained about being in pain, officers did not render any aid.
In the lawsuit, Garner’s family claimed that Garner suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia which makes it difficult for her to communicate and understand speech easily.
The suit also claims that though the officers were aware that Garner was injured, none of the acted to render medical treatment for six hours.
The police Department says they have since launched an independent investigation into the incident staying the department takes excessive force claims seriously and “shares with the community the concerns about the video images that became public on Wednesday.”
“The LPD had not previously received a complaint regarding serious injuries to Karen Garner and learned only on April 14th of the allegations surrounding her arrest,” authorities continued in their response. ” The investigation of the event will include an examination of the action of all officers who may have been involved.”
Garner’s family replied to that statement saying that it is clear that the officers were aware of Garner’s injuries because the officers spoke about them in the video. They have since amended their lawsuit to add a complaint against two more Loveland police officers.
The arresting officer has since been placed on administrative leave.