Three Colorado officers resign after arrest of woman with dementia


LOVELAND (NYTIMES) – Three members of a Colorado police department have resigned after they arrested and booked a 73-year-old woman with dementia who was thrown to the ground and handcuffed after she was suspected of shoplifting, officials said on Friday (April 30).

The woman, Ms Karen Garner, was pinned against a squad car, and her arm was twisted behind her back, breaking a bone and dislocating her shoulder during the roadside arrest in Loveland, Colorado, last June, a lawsuit says.

Body-camera footage of the arrest and footage from Walmart security cameras that was released by Ms Garner’s lawyer in April prompted widespread outrage, as did another video that showed three police officers laughing at a station as they watched the footage.

The district attorney for Larimer County, Mr Gordon McLaughlin, has said that, after seeing the body-camera footage, he requested a criminal investigation, to be assisted by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the FBI.

On Friday, Loveland’s police chief, Mr Robert Ticer, said that two police officers who had arrested Ms Garner – Mr Austin Hopp and Ms Daria Jalali – as well as a community service officer, Mr Tyler Blackett, who had booked Ms Garner, were “no longer employed” by the Loveland Police Department.

A city spokesman later clarified that the officers had resigned.

Master Sergeant Philip Metzler, who was supervising Mr Hopp and Ms Jalali, has been placed on administrative leave, the chief said.

All four officers were named as defendants in a federal lawsuit filed by Ms Garner, which claims violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and alleges use of excessive force and failure to provide medical care.

A fifth officer named in the lawsuit, Sergeant Antolina Hill, is still assigned to her duties at the Police Department, Mr Ticer said. The lawsuit contends that Ms Hill and Mr Blackett “were both aware of Ms Garner’s injuries and need for medical treatment and personally complicit in the continued denial of that critical care”.

At a news conference on Friday, Mr Ticer acknowledged that Ms Garner’s