Daily Mail Online: LONDON, England – An elderly woman with dementia sat in a jail cell without medical care for six hours and cried out for help 51 times in the first hour alone while cops just 10 feet away laughed at an arrest video that showed them breaking her arm.
In the first hour alone, Karen Garner, 73, screamed: “They hurt my shoulders” 22 times, “They hurt my wrists” 13 times, “They keep hurting” eight times and “It hurts” eight times, according to an amended lawsuit against the city of Loveland police department filed earlier this week and audio that can be heard from a security camera.
She was arrested on a Friday at 4:36pm but it wasn’t until 10:38pm that a family member even knew about Garner’s injuries or her arrest – and they heard it from hospital staff where she eventually had been transported, the lawsuit says.
The store recovered the items before Garner was on her way and suffered no loss. They told police that, but the officer who arrived to the scene, finding Garner picking flowers by the side of the road, apparently hadn’t gotten the message – or ignored it.
Officers caught on security video fist-bumped each other and joked about her arrest while she could be heard from the holding cell begging for help.
The video went viral this month after it was released in a federal lawsuit Garner’s family filed against the department.
The federal lawsuit names the arrest officers – Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali – as well as Sgt. Phil Metzler, the supervising officer, and accuses them of violating her civil rights.
“For the six hours that Ms Garner was kept in custody by Loveland and the jail, despite many jokes made about her being disabled and mentally unfit, no one attempted to locate Ms Garner’s caregiver, console or help her, de-escalate her, or alert her loved ones to her terrible situation,” the lawsuit says.
Garner was ultimately diagnosed with a fractured arm, dislocated shoulder as well as a sprained wrist and was covered in scrapes and bruises, according the lawsuit.
She has never regained full mobility in her arm, her lawyer Sarah Shielke told DailyMail.com. She still needs help with everyday tasks like getting dressed or showering, Shielke said, because of her injuries.
Garner’s family said the Loveland police treated their mother and grandmother like “an animal”. They said in a statement given to DailyMail.com that the silence of the Loveland Police Department is unacceptable and a ‘slap in the face.’
“What more could anyone need to see after watching these videos?” they said in the statement. “They care more about protecting their officers and themselves than they do about the people they’ve hurt.”
They called for the officers to be fired and criminally charged.
From time to time in the first two hours after her arrest, officers came to her cell to ask her a question, and Garner screamed that she was in pain, the lawsuit says.
At one point, the officers went in to take photographs of Garner, who again complained, “It hurts – my shoulder.”
Officer Austin Hopp allegedly responded, “I know.” Hopp was one of the arresting officers and named in the amended lawsuit
“Mentally it’s a heartbreaking picture,” Shielke said.
The entire ordeal was because Garner forgot to pay $13.88 for a candy bar, a can of Pepsi and a T-shirt before she left Walmart, Shielke said.
Garner was picking wildflowers as she headed to her apartment two blocks away when she was tackled by Hopp, her lawyer said.
The family wants everyone to know that the first eight seconds of the bodycam footage before Hopp tackles her and takes her down was who Karen was, Shielke told DailyMail.com.
“Happy, carefree, enjoying the outdoors, picking flowers,” Shielke said. “After this event, all that is gone. She is fearful, distrustful of everyone, reclusive. She is sad. The few things about life she was still able to enjoy as an elderly woman with declining cognitive health prior to this event, were obliterated by the Loveland Police Department.”
While Garner screamed in pain and pleaded for help, cops were caught on video from the jail laughing at the arrest and fist bumping each other as they watched the body-camera footage hours later.
City officials haven’t apologized to the woman or her family, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald. The footage of the arrest went viral on social media after its release earlier the month in the wake of a new lawsuit against the department.
Footage from Hopp’s body-camera shows him slamming Garner to the ground, causing her to fracture her elbow and dislocate her shoulder.
Outrage over the clip was so intense that state prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into Hopp, Jalali and their supervisor on-scene supervising sergeant Metzler last week. Officers Tyler Blackett and Sgt Antolina Hill have been added to the suit, Garner’s attorney said Monday.
Attorney Sarah Schielke released surveillance video purportedly showing Hopp and Jalali celebrating as they reviewed body-camera footage of Garner’s arrest.
Schielke said the officers could be heard mocking the “pop” when Garner’s shoulder dislocated while she sat a few yards away in a cell without having received any medical attention.
Surveillance footage from the Loveland Police Department showed three officers – two of them identified as Hopp and Jalali – gathered around a computer to watch the body-camera footage.
“Ready for the pop?” Hopp is heard saying in apparent reference to Garner’s arm coming out of it’s socket.
When the third unnamed officer asks: “What popped?”, Hopp nonchalantly replies: “I think it was her shoulder.
“I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground,” Hopp says.
Jalali quipped: “It’s like live TV… Body-cams are my favorite thing to watch, I could watch livestream body-cams all day.”
The third officer suggests creating a TV show dedicated to body-camera footage before telling Hopp of his arrest: “Impressive, buddy.”
The civil rights attorney said Garner’s family hired a sound engineer to enhance audio on booking videos from the day of her arrest.
“The video reveals a grotesque culture of callous disregard for the health and safety of citizens,” Schielke wrote.
“The officers fist bump one another multiple times in self-congratulation for both the assault on Garner and the intimidation of the citizen who attempted to complain about it.”
She continued: “This is utterly disgusting. These videos cannot be unseen or unheard. I am sorry to have to share them with the public. This will be traumatic and deeply upsetting for everyone to see.
“But as it often goes with bad police departments, it seems this is the only way to make them change. They have to be exposed. If I didn’t release this, the Loveland Police’s toxic culture of arrogance and entitlement, along with their horrific abuse of the vulnerable and powerless, would carry on, business as usual.”
Hopp has been placed on administrative leave and Jalali and Metzler was re-assigned to desk duty pending the internal investigation by the District Attorney for Larimer and Jackson counties, Gordon McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said he had been unware of the incident until the body-camera video was released earlier this month. He has not publicly commented about the surveillance video.
McLaughlin announced his investigation, which is being led by the Fort Collins Police Services with assistance from the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI, last Monday after Schielke filed the lawsuit on behalf of Garner’s family.
The probe could result in unspecified criminal charges against Hopp, Jalali and Metzler.
If they don’t charge the officers, prosecutors must release a letter explaining why they chose not to do so, according to the Denver Post.
Garner’s children called the investigation a “small but overdue step in the right direction”.
“Clearly, the newly-elected DA understands what we suspected last summer — that only an independent, outside investigation, with all the world’s attention, will reveal the truth,” they said in a statement.
The Loveland Police Department is also conducting its own review of the incident.
Last June, store employees had stopped Garner at the exit of the Walmart and retrieved the items she hadn’t paid for, according to her family’s lawsuit.
Store officials said it did not suffer a loss from the incident, but an employee proceeded to report Garner to police anyway.
When Hopp and Jalali confronted Garner she appeared visibly confused in body camera footage, repeatedly telling the officer she was just going home.
“Ma’am I don’t think you want to play it this way,” Hopp says. “You just left Walmart. Do you need to be arrested right now?”
Within a few minutes, Hopp is seen dragging Garner — who is five feet tall and weighs 80 pounds — to the ground as she screams: “I’m going home.”
Garner is subsequently seen being pushed up against the officers’ police car as she continues to wail: ‘I’m going home!’
“Quit it!” Jalali commands as she pulls Garner’s arm behind her back.
At that point, a snapping sound can be heard on the bodycam footage and Garner cries out in pain.
In another portion of the video, a driver can be seen stopping to inquire about the arrest.
“Do you have to use that much aggression?” the passerby asks the cops.
“Get out of here! This is not your business!” Hopp replies.
Soon after, a third officer arrives at the scene and asks: “Are you guys all good?”
“A little muddy, a little bloody, that’s how it works!” Jalali says before confirming the blood was from Garner.
Garner was taken into custody where she was reportedly held for hours without medical attention, despite insisting she was in pain.
“Ready for the pop?” Hopp is heard saying in apparent reference to Garner’s arm coming out of its socket as she was pressed up against a squad car
Nobody sought medical help for Garner for about six hours after she was arrested, according to the lawsuit.
“It is a hard-to-watch video,” attorney Schielke told the Reporter-Herald.
“It is the opposite of community policing. I thought a lot about this case as I have prepared to file it, and on paper and in the legal pleading it is an excessive-force case. In reality when you watch the video, you see this is a torture case.”
The lawsuit claims the arrest violated her constitutional protections against excessive force and to have due process and also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the lawsuit, forgetting to pay for items in stores is common among those with dementia.
It also said Garner suffers from sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to communicate and understand what other people are saying.
In addition to her physical injuries, the lawsuit claims Garner now experiences fear, trauma and anxiety whenever she leaves her home.
- Top Feature Photo: Garner is seen slumped in a holding cell as officers mocked video of her arrest. In the caption of her YouTube video on Monday, Garner’s attorney Sarah Schielke said she was “alone, confused and crying in pain” for six hours without any medical attention. Garner cried for help and screamed that she was in pain 51 times in the first hour alone while cops 10 just feet away laughing at an arrest video that showed them breaking her arm, according to a lawsuit