Screengrab courtesy of Lawyer Sarah Schilke, Life and Freedom Law Firm
Three Loveland, Colorado, police officers involved in the forced arrest and detention of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia, have resigned from the department.
“I share the community’s concern on this issue. It hurts to see it,” Loveland Police Chief Robert Tisser told camera footage of the detainee’s body during the conference. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 32 years and what I saw there hurt me personally.”
Ticer made the announcement Friday at a news conference that came more than a week after a federal civil rights lawsuit against multiple employees and Loveland Police Department was filed by Sarah Schilke of Life and Freedom Law Firm on behalf of Garner. Officers Austin Hop, Daria Jalali and Public Service Officer Tyler Blackett, who helped set up Garner’s reservation, have resigned.
“Today we heard Ticer’s head give a speech that seeks to protect only himself and LPD’s reputation. He has repeatedly avoided questions about our family. He does not mention Karen personally,” a statement from Garner’s family said. “And just like on June 26, 2020, the inhumane treatment of our mother was ignored and the focus was on the department’s continued support. He said the case of our mother” hurt him personally. “Clearly, the only thing that “hurt personally,” is the attention this case has drawn to his department. Not what happened to our mother.
Two other employees named in the case have retained their jobs in the Lowland Department. Sgt. Phil Metzler, who responded to the scene of Garner’s arrest, was placed on administrative leave; meanwhile, Sergeant. Antolina Hill, who participated in Garner’s reservation, is still fulfilling her regular duty.
The statement from Garner’s family called for Metzler and Hill to be removed from power. He also called on Ticer himself to withdraw or be removed.
“His decision not to resign and City of Loveland’s decision not to remove him from the position prove that LPD’s leadership and toxic culture issues are as bad as we suspected when we saw the first video. if not worse, “the statement said. “And they go all over Ticer, to the very top. Because while the world is watching, horrified and waiting – the city leaves the old guard in place. And it does nothing.”
On June 26, 2020, Garner was forcibly arrested by Loveland police after she left Walmart with $ 14 unpaid goods. During the arrest, Garner suffered a fractured arm and a dislocated shoulder, according to the case. In a press release, the back of Garner’s hands and wrists were badly bruised.
“Our goal at Loveland Police Department has always been to make our community proud,” Teaser said. “We failed and we are very sorry about that.”
An investigation has also been launched by the office of eighth District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin. The Critical Incident Response Team, composed of investigators from 10 county agencies in Larimer and Jackson counties, will investigate the incident.