May 9, 2021

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Police officers seen laughing at brutal arrest of woman with dementia no longer on force, chief says


Three Colorado police officers filmed laughing at the brutal arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia are no longer with the force.

Police chief Chief Bob Ticer announced on Friday that Austin Hopp, Daria Jalal and Tyler Blackett were no longer associated with the force in Loveland, Coloado, following the incident.

Footage of the arrest of Karen Garner, who was handcuffed for walking out of a Walmart with $13.88 (£10.04) worth of items in June, showed the officers laughing and fist-bumping at body camera footage of the incident, as CNN reported.

The footage showed Loveland officers assaulting and tackling Ms Garner to the ground outside a branch of Walmart.

During the footage of the officers watching back the body camera, Ms Jalal — who assisted in the arrest — described it as being “like live TV.”

She adds: “Bodycams are my favourite thing to watch. I could watch livestream bodycams all day”.

“I love it” and “I hate it,” the officers add. “I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground”.

On Friday, Mr Ticer said of the incident: “We failed and we are very sorry for that. What you saw on the video was not the Loveland Police Department. It hurt to see that.

“I share the community’s concerns on this. It hurt to see that. I’ve been in law enforcement 32 years and what I saw in there hurt me personally.”

A fourth officer, Phil Metzler, remains suspended from the force, according to ABC 7 , while Ms Jalal was reassigned.

It was not confirmed whether Mr Hop and Mr Blackett resigned or were fired.

An attorney for the family of Ms Garner, who reportedly suffered from a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist during the arrest, told CNN: “This is the Loveland Police Department. And it is his Loveland Police Department”.

“He is responsible for what happens in it,” Sarah Schielke said of Mr Ticer, “And incredibly, despite presiding over the hiring, training and culture that led to this atrocity against Karen Garner, he and the City of Loveland believe he ought to still continue running it.”

The footage of the three officers laughing at Ms Garner was released as part of the legal action against the Loveland Police Department and the officers involved in the incident, filed last week.

According to Mr Ticer, an investigation is ongoing.