Cops Tackled A Grandma With Dementia Picking Flowers, Bodycam Footage Shows

A cou­ple of days ago, I quot­ed Martin Niemoller in an arti­cle. In light of the police vio­lence being report­ed dai­ly in America and the resul­tant silence from cer­tain seg­ments of the white pop­u­la­tion on the one hand, and the mind­less igno­rance on the part of others.
First, they came for the social­ists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade union­ists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
The fol­low­ing sto­ry prompt­ed me to use mis­ter Niemoller’s famous quote once again to dri­ve home the idea that we are all in this togeth­er. That injus­tice to any human being any­where is a threat to jus­tice to all of us everywhere.

A 73-year-old grand­moth­er of nine was pick­ing wild­flow­ers on the side of the road in Loveland, Colorado, last sum­mer when a local cop got out of his patrol vehi­cle and told her to stop — begin­ning a police encounter that ulti­mate­ly left her with bro­ken bones, bruised, and traumatized.
Loveland Police Officer Austin Hopp had been dri­ving behind Karen Garner with his over­head lights on because she was accused of shoplift­ing from a near­by Walmart. But Garner did not appear to notice, accord­ing to body cam­era footage pub­lished by Garner’s attor­ney Wednesday.
Garner has demen­tia and sen­so­ry apha­sia, an inabil­i­ty to under­stand spo­ken and writ­ten speech, accord­ing to a fed­er­al civ­il rights law­suit filed on her behalf this week against the city of Loveland and three offi­cers involved in Garner’s arrest.
Hopp asked Garner why she didn’t stop after he acti­vat­ed his lights and siren, at which point Garner gave him a blank expres­sion, said some­thing unin­tel­li­gi­ble, and start­ed to move away.
“No, no, no,” Hopp said, accord­ing to body­cam footage.

Hopp then grabbed the 80-pound woman, threw her to the grass, and twist­ed her arms behind her back, body­cam footage shows. Garner was still clutch­ing a hand­ful of wild­flow­ers. A sec­ond cop, Daria Jalali, arrived with­in min­utes and assist­ed in the arrest. Then, Despite Garner’s evi­dent dis­tress and small stature, Hopp pushed her left arm “painful­ly upward,” accord­ing to body cam­era footage and the law­suit. Police repeat­ed­ly threw her on the ground, and hog-tied her on the side of the road — a con­tro­ver­sial restraint that’s been banned by some police depart­ments. Once her feet were bound, Jalali, Hopp, and their on-scene super­vi­sor, Sgt. Philip Metzler, lift­ed her into the back of a police vehi­cle, accord­ing to the lawsuit.
“I’m going home,” Garner cried repeat­ed­ly. As a result of the inci­dent, Garner was left with a dis­lo­cat­ed shoul­der, a frac­tured humerus bone, and a sprained wrist, the law­suit alleges. She was cov­ered with bruis­es by the time she arrived at a hos­pi­tal — although she wasn’t tak­en to the med­ical facil­i­ty until sev­er­al hours after she was first stopped by police, accord­ing to the law­suit. After the law­suit was filed Wednesday and cov­ered by local media out­lets includ­ing KUSA, an NBC affil­i­ate in Denver, the Loveland Police Department said in a state­ment that it’d inves­ti­gate the encounter. Officials added they’d only heard of the inci­dent this week, hav­ing not received any pri­or com­plaints. In the mean­time, the depart­ment has placed Hopp on admin­is­tra­tive leave, and reas­signed Jalali and Metzler to admin­is­tra­tive duties, accord­ing to the state­ment post­ed on the department’s Facebook page.

KAREN GARNER HAS DEMENTIA AND SENSORY APHASIA, AN INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND SPOKEN AND WRITTEN SPEECH, ACCORDING TOFEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUIT FILED ON HER BEHALF.

But Garner’s fam­i­ly wants to make sure this doesn’t hap­pen to any­one ever again — and they’re hop­ing for sig­nif­i­cant changes in per­son­nel, lead­er­ship, and pol­i­cy at the Loveland Police Department. “This is not a ‘sin­gle bad apple’ type of sce­nario,” Sarah Schielke, Garner’s attor­ney in the law­suit, told VICE News. “This is a sys­temic, cul­tur­al, deeply ingrained, com­ing-down-from-lead­er­ship type of atti­tude, where this is not com­mu­ni­ty polic­ing — it’s com­mu­ni­ty ter­ror­ism, practically.”
She added: “If somebody’s dumb enough, in their mind, to not capit­u­late, they’re going to pay for it. Even if you’re an elder­ly dis­abled lady.”
While Garner’s chil­dren were doing their best to keep an eye on her, she slipped out to Walmart the after­noon of her arrest, Schielke said. Later, Garner wound up wan­der­ing out of the store with­out pay­ing for Pepsi, a can­dy bar, a T‑shirt, and some stain-remov­ing wipes — worth less than $14 alto­geth­er. Walmart employ­ees stopped her and took the items back. They then refused her attempt to pay and called the police, accord­ing to the law­suit. Casey Staheli, a spokesper­son for Walmart, said in a state­ment to VICE News: “We stopped the cus­tomer after notic­ing her attempt to take mer­chan­dise from the store with­out pay­ing for it. To pro­tect the safe­ty of our peo­ple, the police were called only after Ms. Garner became phys­i­cal with an associate.”

Hopp found Garner a few blocks away from the Walmart as she was walk­ing home. When Garner appeared con­fused at his ques­tions, he said to her: “You just left Walmart. Do you need to be arrest­ed right now?” Then he tack­led her. At one point, a con­cerned cit­i­zen stopped and asked the offi­cers, “Do you have to use that much aggression?”
“What are you doing? Get out of here,” Hopp said, accord­ing to body cam­era footage. The man, who had pulled over to the side of the road, asked to know who Hopp’s sergeant was, say­ing he had seen the cop throw “that lit­tle kid.” (Garner is 5 feet tall, accord­ing to the law­suit.) “She just stole from Walmart and refused to stop, refused to lis­ten to law­ful orders, and to fight me,” Hopp told the man. “This is what hap­pens when you fight the police. I have to use force to safe­ly detain her. That’s what this is. This isn’t just some ran­dom act of aggression.”
Later, when Metzler arrived and the offi­cers were recount­ing the events of the arrest togeth­er, Hopp admit­ted he “strug­gled” with Garner.

You’re a lit­tle mud­dy, dude,” Metzler said, accord­ing to body cam­era footage.
“A lit­tle bloody, a lit­tle mud­dy, that’s how it works,” Jalali responded.
The offi­cers were refer­ring to Garner’s blood. She was tak­en to jail and charged with theft of less than $50, obstruct­ing a peace offi­cer, and resist­ing arrest, accord­ing to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, though the Larimer County District Attorney agreed to dis­miss the case in August 2020. The intense encounter with police has still left its scars, though. Garner’s chil­dren have told Schielke that she’s able to find some peace play­ing soli­taire, lis­ten­ing to music, or doing crafts at a mem­o­ry care facil­i­ty, but has oth­er­wise become with­drawn and mis­trust­ful. They not­ed that in the past, Garner was the ulti­mate, crafty home-mak­er, who loved to go to con­certs and play cards. “What lit­tle free­dom and hap­pi­ness Ms. Garner enjoyed in her life as an elder­ly adult with declin­ing men­tal health was, on June 26, 2020, reck­less­ly and delib­er­ate­ly oblit­er­at­ed by the Loveland Police Department,” the law­suit states. Tom Hacker, a spokesman for the Loveland Police Department, said the agen­cy’s pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards unit will exam­ine the inci­dent. “There’s no record asso­ci­at­ed with this event, no frame of video, no shred of any evi­dence that won’t be looked at pret­ty thor­ough­ly,” he told VICE News. It was unclear if the offi­cers named in the law­suit had attor­neys who could speak on their behalf; the local police union didn’t imme­di­ate­ly respond to VICE News’ request for comment.(From vice​news​.com)