Investigation launched into Loveland Police arrest of dementia patient

State

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — The district attorney’s office launched an independent criminal investigation of a Loveland Police Department use-of-force incident involving a 73-year-old dementia patient on Monday.

A Loveland civil rights attorney filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department and three officers on April 14 on the behalf of Karen Garner who was arrested in June of 2020.

In the body camera footage, Officer Austin Hopp can be heard saying, “Ma’am, I don’t think you want to play it this way,” as he appears to stop his patrol vehicle and approach Garner.

“You just left Walmart, do you need to be arrested right now?” Hopp asked.

“I’m going home,” Garner responded repeatedly.

Within a few seconds, she is on the ground being handcuffed and moments later a second officer arrives on scene.

Garner is walked to the patrol car in cuffs, repeatedly saying, “I’m going home.” Both officers take Garner out of the patrol vehicle, put her on the ground, and proceed to use restraints to tie her feet together.

The 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said on April 15 it would review the information given and decide whether or not an independent criminal investigation was necessary.

“Involved and investigating agencies have agreed that an independent criminal review is appropriate, and an investigation of the incident will occur. The investigation will be led by Fort Collins Police Services and will be assisted, as needed, by investigative staff from the District Attorney’s Office and other partner agencies, including the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which will also assess the matter,” the district attorney’s statement said.

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