Monday, April 26, 2021

Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia, suffers broken arm and other injuries after cops rough her up during arrest for alleged shoplifting in Colorado


Evidence is overwhelming that Black Americans absorb the majority of damage rogue law-enforcement officers inflict on our society. But a case is unfolding in Colorado that seems to break the mold. In fact, the arrest and brutalization of Karen Garner goes beyond boundaries of race, gender, age, even mental-health status. (See video above.)

Garner, a 73-year-old white woman with dementia, was shopping at a Loveland, CO, Wal-Mart when she allegedly walked out of the store without paying for several items. Given her mental status, did Garner simply forget to pay for the items? Does this happen fairly often with those who have dementia?

Those questions revolve around a federal lawsuit that has been filed on Garner's behalf, alleging excessive use of force and serious bodily injury. From a report at in Denver:

The Loveland Police Department is responding to a federal lawsuit that alleges “excessive use of force” and serious injury during an arrest of a woman in her 70s. The department became aware of the lawsuit on Wednesday after body camera video was posted on the Loveland Police Department’s Facebook page. 

The shoplifting arrest of Karen Garner, 73, happened on June 26, 2020. Police said they will investigate the incident that will include “an examination of all images, documents and records compiled” in connection with the event. Garner was suspected of having taken $13.88 in items from a Walmart without paying for them.

The Life & Liberty Law Office representing Garner said that she suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to verbally communicate and understand others’ communications. She is also 5-feet and weighs 80 pounds. According to her attorneys, on the day in question, she was walking through a field, picking wildflowers when Officer Hopp stopped, called out to her to stop and talk to him.

According to the statement from the Life & Liberty Law Office, When she indicated she did not understand him, and turned to continue walking home, he grabbed her and violently assaulted her, twisting her arms behind her back, throwing her to the ground and handcuffing her. Just eight seconds passed between Officer Hopp reaching Ms. Garner and Officer Hopp throwing her tiny body to the ground and putting her in handcuffs. Defendant Officer Jalali then arrived and assisted Officer Hopp in violently and needlessly dislocating Ms. Garner’s shoulder, fracturing her humerus, and spraining her wrist. Then they threw her onto the ground again and hog-tied her. Throughout this attack, the only thing the terrified, disabled and injured Ms. Garner was able to utter was “I’m going home!”. She cried out these words over 38 times.

Don't police have methods for a situation like this that don't involve breaking an elderly woman's arm, dislocating her shoulder, spraining her wrist, and forcing her to be hog-tied? Those seem to be among numerous questions Garner's lawyers are asking:

Garner’s lawyers accuse supervising officer Sgt. Metzler of helping his subordinates cover up the brutality and allegedly directed that Garner be denied access to medical care for her injuries. Metzler also is alleged to have kept his own body camera deactivated and failed to write a report regarding use of force, both of which are claimed to be a violation of the Loveland Police Department’s written policies.

The attorneys go on to claim that Garner was ignored despite repeated complaints of pain and that medical care was not sought for her in the several hours she remained with police, instead she was handcuffed to a cell at the station for more than 2 hours. She was then transferred to the Larimer County Jail where she remained for another 3 hours without medical treatment.

According to Loveland police, the arresting officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation’s outcome. An officer who assisted in the arrest and the on-scene supervisor have been reassigned to administrative duties.

Garner’s attorneys say that since her arrest last summer, she has become withdrawn, depressed, afraid to go outdoors and that she needs help getting dressed and showering because she has lost most functional use of her left arm.

A report at includes perspective from Wal-Mart employees:

[Garner's] crime? The lawsuit suggests she attempted to leave a Walmart with less than $14 worth of items she forgot to purchase. A statement from Walmart indicates that police were called only after Garner became "physical" with an associate.

“We stopped Ms. Garner after noticing her attempt to take merchandise from the store without paying for it," the statement says. "When we addressed this issue directly with her the situation escalated when she forcibly removed an associate’s facemask and fled the store. The police were called only after Ms. Garner became physical with an associate.”

The lawsuit says Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, a broken humerus and a sprained wrist during the arrest which happened not long after she left the store.

The arrest, captured on an officer’s body camera, repeatedly shows Garner saying, “I’m going home” to the arresting officer.

She was two blocks away from her home.

Sarah Schielke, of Loveland, is the lead attorney for Garner: 

Sarah Schielke

            According to the lawsuit, Garner spent two hours inside a Loveland Police jail cell and an                    additional three hours inside a cell at the Larimer County Jail.

Attorney Sarah Schielke, who represents Garner, said the arresting officers told the Larimer County jail staff that Garner was uninjured despite obvious signs that she had painful injuries.

Garner, according to Schielke, is 5 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

The lawsuit says Garner left the Walmart with a Pepsi, a candy bar, a t-shirt and some Shout Wipe refills.

“Walmart employees stopped her and escorted her back inside, where they took the items back. Ms. Garner attempted to hand them her credit card to pay, but they refused,” the lawsuit reads. 

“Ms. Garner, unable to communicate with them or fully grasp what was going on, then walked out of the store and began walking the short distance back to her home,” it says.


Anonymous said...

Good God, this poor woman was picking wild flowers, and cops hog-tie her and break her bones. Where is the humanity?

legalschnauzer said...

Humanity seems to exit the picture when cops make an entrance.

Anonymous said...

Cops are wholly unprepared to handle situations like this. In some cases, you need someone with training in mental health and social work, not an armed commando with a military mindset and a macho complex.

legalschnauzer said...

In this case, even the female cop seemed to have a macho complex. She seemed to matters worse,instead of better.

Jim Beamer said...


Let me tell you about training cops.

In Austin, TX, two attorneys (married couple) found a confused homeless mental patient outside their home who was acting odd. They called the bozo APD to handle the situation.

The patrol cop was a mental health trained cop. He decided to bark orders at the confused perp who didn't follow the commands. This enraged the cop who considered this an insult to his powertrip, earning the perp some rough handling.

The two attorneys uttered their protest at this rough handling within earshot of our hotdog cop (the mental health expert who went through his training on dealing with mental illness). So...this nutbag cop (what I call a "burn out" cop who has lost any ability to control his volcanic rage) then roughly handled the female lawyer and threw her to the ground.

Of course, shocked and horrified, the male lawyer seeing his wife roughly handled, also protested vociferously. And....guess what happened?

Yup...Mr mental health cop...threw the husband attorney to the ground.

The cop smugly made three big arrests of those "who just couldn't follow orders" or "couldn't show the neccessary respect for a superstar hotdog who "was just doing is job".

This cop, months later...also had a similar problem on 6th Street where cameras caught this nutbag cop (I call them "burnout" cops who have lost decorum, restraint, etc) committed a felony when he intentionally took a handcuffed perp to his car and bounced the perp's head off the door frame of the squad car (knocking the perp into a coma). Bank cameras recorded this, hemming the wayward "burnout cop" into a constrained explanation in front of IAD.

Eventually, it became obvious to APD that this cop had to go. He got fired. Don't think he tried his civil service appeals.

I also had a confrontation with this nut near 6th Street. He went through my pockets because "I was walking back to my car without my shirt on" (it's hot in Austin, TX, during the summer). It seemed like this cop was hunting for the surveillance had got me down town to take a bust from their favorite wacko cop (who might have been a Manchurian Candidate)

It took too long for APD to respond this cops' inability to perform: I think he was an MK ULTRA patsy or just got "burned out". He was a church goer: that might be why he got targeted and created as a volcanic bad cop. Don't really know.

The MK ULTRA mind control angle...seems rather questionable. But...they ran the program on me, and it's very effective and impossible to detect (I know, that sounds persecutory paranoid type).

But...consider a couple of sources on this: one is a whistleblower who worked the Fusion Center-contract surveillance rackets and the other source is a high level Military INdustrial Complex engineer of the mind control program. His name is Robert Duncan and he wrote a book describing his guilt over his impressive understanding of neuro hacking of the brain:


My point is: TRAINING is just pretense. All the bad cops in those videos were trained and vetted. TRAINING is not the answer, it's a response to maintain the pretense of "doing something" and "showing some concern" so the police can look reasonable and rational. This social mask is common among Authoritarian Personalities.
Scott Peck calls it, "People of The Lie".

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for educating me and my readers. MK Ultra is a new term to me; disturbing stuff, for sure.