Loveland police face federal civil rights lawsuit over arrest of 73-year-old girl – The Denver Put up

A Loveland law firm filed a civil lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department last summer for the arrest of a 73-year-old Loveland woman whom the woman’s lawyer described as a “nightmare”.

According to a press release from attorney Sarah Schielke, the law firm for life and freedom filed the lawsuit and initiated the case on Wednesday. Phil Metzler for arresting Karen Garner on June 26, 2020.

The arrest left Garner with a broken arm and shoulder, the suit says.

This is not the first suit with excessive force that Schielke has worked on before. She also represented Preston Sowl, a Loveland resident who filed a lawsuit against Loveland and four police officers, Paul Ashe, Benjamin DeLima, Clint Schnorr and Brian Bartnes, who declined to speak to them when he spoke to them on September 2019 Was the scene of the accident. That case was recently settled for $ 290,000.

Garner’s lawsuit includes alleged violations of the Disabled Americans Act and targets Loveland’s “failure to use force against disabled unarmed citizens.”

Photo shows Karen Garner’s arm after she was arrested by the Loveland Police Department on June 26, 2020. (Courtesy photo of Sarah Shielke and the Life and Liberty law firm)

As of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, the Loveland Police Department had not made an official comment on the case.

The suit claims that Garner, who is 5 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds, sustained a broken upper arm and shoulder, as well as other injuries.

According to the lawsuit, Hopp “violently attacked Garner without provocation” in the late afternoon of June 26, 2020 while walking home from eastern Loveland Walmart.

The suit states that Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia, which affects her ability to communicate and understand. She had the store on N. Denver Ave. 1325 left without paying for $ 13.38 items. Staff stopped them at the exit to collect the items, but reportedly refused to allow them to be paid for.

Then, as she was walking home, Garner was stopped by Hopp, according to the suit, who asked her to stop and speak to him. When she indicated that she did not understand him, Hopp stopped Garner. Court documents said he “violently assaulted her, twisted her arms behind her back, threw her to the ground and handcuffed her.”

Jalali then helped Hopp with the arrest. Metzler, who later appeared on the scene, agreed to the arrest, the lawsuit said, and directed Garner “to be denied access to medical care for her injuries afterwards,” the lawsuit said.

A photo by Karen Garner from an unspecified year. Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia, which affects her ability to communicate and understand, according to the attorney, who filed a civil lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department for her arrest in 2020.

A video of Garner leaving Walmart, as well as the body camera footage of the arrest, can be found on a YouTube video posted by the law firm. In the video, Metzler can be heard asking about the mud and blood on Jalali, to which she replies: “A little bloody, a little mushy; They know how to do it, ”added it was Garner’s blood.

Body camera recordings of the arrest can be found under a Dropbox link provided by Schielke.

“It’s a difficult video to watch,” Schielke told the Reporter-Herald. “It’s the opposite of community police. I put a lot of thought into this case as I was preparing to file it, and on paper and in the legal briefs, it is an excessive violence case. In reality, if you watch the video, you will see that it is a case of torture. “

The release submitted by the law firm also claims that none of the officers involved in the incident were disciplined. Tom Hacker, spokesman for the Loveland Police Department, said there was no complaint from the incident and “no disciplinary action can be taken until the investigation into a complaint is complete”.

According to the lawsuit, Garner suffered a broken upper arm, dislocated shoulder and sprained wrist, as well as scratches on his face, a bloody nose and bruises on his knees.

The video and court documents also allege that after her arrest, Garner was held in the department for several hours while she cried out in pain. Loveland Police later took Garner to Larimer County Prison in Fort Collins and, according to the complaint, failed to explain or mention to the applicants that Garner “complained of pain and was involved in a serious incident of violence”. was obviously mentally ill and clearly needed a medical evaluation before he could be further isolated in a cell. “

Schielke said that as she went through the information and facts in the case, she was concerned about other elderly or disabled people in Loveland.

“Arresting and injuring and prosecuting and asking questions first, apparently, is never like what they do in Loveland,” she said.

Hacker said the department had just learned of “the incident” through a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon and is investigating it.

He said it was a department policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Schielke said she expected a judge to set a first court date in the next few days, possibly in about six weeks.

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