FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A Colorado police division has mentioned it wasn’t conscious of complaints relating to the arrest of 73-year-old Karen Garner, who has dementia, however new video made public Monday exhibits officers watching bodycam footage, joking about their use of force and noting the case would set off an inner overview.
Video launched by Garner’s legal professional exhibits Officer Austin Hopp knew the case can be reviewed by “Blue Team,” the division’s system of retaining monitor of sure experiences, together with makes use of of force and threats of force during arrests.
According to police station surveillance video, Hopp later advised fellow cops “ready for the pop?” as he confirmed them his physique digital camera footage that was a part of the arrest made in Loveland, Colorado, about 50 miles north of Denver, final 12 months.
In a earlier assertion, the Loveland Police Department mentioned they weren’t beforehand conscious of any complaints relating to Garner’s arrest till the lawsuit was filed on April 14. Loveland police beforehand advised The Coloradoan, a part of the USA TODAY Network, that internal reviews aren’t initiated unless a complaint is filed against an officer by either a resident or another employee.
In the video, Hopp mentioned he reported their use of force to the Blue Team. It’s unclear whether or not the officers’ use of force was ever reviewed.
Every officer concerned in using force during an incident is required to report it by means of Blue Team, Loveland Police Chief Bob Ticer mentioned at a Loveland City Council assembly final week.
“That is required that they enter that in through the Blue Team system and then it goes through the review process to see if we were within policy or not,” Ticer advised council members.
Complaints are additionally filed into Blue Team to be reviewed, Ticer mentioned.
Sarah Schielke, who’s representing Garner and her household in a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging extreme force, shared edited footage from the police department security camera with media Monday morning. The sound within the movies has been enhanced to raised perceive what officers are saying, based on Schielke.
Schielke mentioned in a information launch that Loveland police’s declare that they had not obtained a criticism about this arrest is “an attempt to shift the burden” of accountability on to others as an alternative of inside the division.
“This is not just some ‘isolated incident.’ It is not just one single ‘problem,’” Schielke mentioned within the assertion.
Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured arm and sprained wrist during her June 26, 2020, arrest, based on the lawsuit.
“This is utterly disgusting,” Schielke said in a news release with the video Monday. “… Loveland knew. They’ve known all along. They failed Karen Garner. They failed the community. And they did it all on camera.”
‘Ready for the pop?’: Officers watched bodycam footage together
Hopp arrested Garner in June 2020 after she allegedly left a store without paying for about $14 worth of items. His body camera footage shows Hopp catching up to her as she walks through a field along a road. She shrugs and turns away from him and he quickly grabs her arm and pushes her 80-pound body to the ground. She looks confused and repeatedly says, “I am going home.”
The footage released Monday showed the officers laughing and making comments about Garner’s injuries immediately after the arrest.
Security footage at the Loveland police station shows officers Hopp and Daria Jalali watching Hopp’s body camera footage of the two arresting Garner, who by that point is handcuffed in a holding cell nearby.
“Ready for the pop?” Hopp said to Jalali and another officer, identified by Schielke as officer Tyler Blackett, in the video.
“What did you pop?” Blackett asks. “I feel it was her shoulder,” Hopp mentioned.
A few moments later, Jalali appears to cover her eyes while Hopp and Blackett continue watching the body camera video.
“I hate this,” Jalali said. “This is superior,” Hopp says while laughing. “I adore it,” Blackett says.
In the footage, Hopp is also heard telling Jalali he thought the arrest “went nice” after the two fist-bump each other. “I feel we crushed it,” Hopp tells Jalali as they both appear to be filling out paperwork.
“Did you hear the pop? When I had her pushed in opposition to the automobile whenever you first obtained there?” Hopp asks Jalali. “I used to be like, ‘OK, you are gonna play,’ and I used to be pushing, pushing, pushing and I hear (pop sound). I used to be like, ‘Oh no.’ “
“That’s going to show into one thing,” Jalali responded.
“I can not consider I threw a 73-year-old girl on the bottom,” Hopp says at another point in the video.
Schielke said in a statement that she felt she had to release this video to shed light on “Loveland police’s poisonous tradition of vanity and entitlement, together with their horrific abuse of the susceptible and powerless.”
The lawsuit alleges Hopp, Jalali and Sgt. Phil Metzler used excessive force when arresting Garner. On Sunday, Schielke said an amended complaint was filed to add Blackett and Sgt. Antolina Hill as defendants, accusing them of failing to intervene or provide medical care to Garner.
Eighth Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin launched the Critical Incident Response Team investigation on April 19. Fort Collins Police Services will lead the investigation to determine if any laws were violated. After the investigation, Ticer said they will work with a third-party investigator to conduct an internal affairs investigation to determine if any officers involved violated department policies.
Hopp, Jalali and Metzler are actually on paid administrative depart whereas the eighth Judicial Critical Incident Response Team conducts a legal investigation into the incident, Ticer told Loveland City Council during a presentation on April 20.
Garner was left without medical care for nearly six hours – first in a holding cell at the police department and then at the jail – before jail deputies realized she was injured, according to the lawsuit. Officers reportedly did not tell anyone at the jail that Garner might be injured.
In beforehand launched physique digital camera footage from Hopp, each Hopp and Metzler are seen talking with a involved resident who pulled to the facet of the street whereas officers have been arresting Garner. The lawsuit alleges Metzler intimidated and bullied the witness and deactivated his body-worn digital camera during the interplay to cowl up the usage of extreme force.
In Ticer’s presentation to the City Council last week, he said 91 out of the 3,162 arrests Loveland police made in 2020 – or 2.9% – involved a use of force.
Contributing: The Associated Press.
Follow Sady Swanson on Twitter at @sadyswan.