A lawsuit filed against the Loveland, Colo. police department claims that officers broke the arm and dislocated the shoulder of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old dementia patient, while arresting her for walking out of Walmart with $13.88 worth of groceries. The appalling centerpieces: bodycam footage showing the brutal arrest and video that shows officers laughing at her at the station, as reported today by The New York Times.
"Hear the pop?" one officer says.
"What did you pop?" asks another.
"I think it was her shoulder," the first officer responds. …
"Can you stop it now?" one officer says as they watch the body camera footage of the arrest. "I hate it."
"I love it," another officer says, with a laugh. "This is great."
Garner's lawyer, Sarah Schielke, says that these comments were made while Garner "remained handcuffed to a bench in a cell just 10 feet away from them, alone, confused and crying in pain. She would ultimately go over six hours without any medical attention."
Here's the hourlong security footage that caught the conversation during Garner's booking:
From Schielke's press release:
"Ready for the pop? Here comes the pop."
The quote above is from a Loveland Police officer – Austin Hopp – made in reference to the sound it made when he dislocated and fractured Karen Garner's shoulder. Hopp made this comment to two fellow Loveland Police officers while they watched his body camera video together at the police station. The comment was made while Karen Garner, who has dementia, remained handcuffed to a bench in a cell just 10 feet away from them, alone, confused and crying in pain. She would ultimately go over six hours without any medical attention.
Here's Hopp's bodycam footage of the arrest itself.
Hopp's pushing Garner—clearly a terrified and feeble elderly woman—into the hood of his car after she wriggles in her handcuffs and says that she's going home. There are a number of moments where Hopp's rough treatment of her results in popping or crunching noises, so I'm unsure which is the one he found so funny.
"Why you trying to slip the cuffs off?" Hopp says.
"I'm cold," says Garner. Hopp sighs angrily.
"Stop" says Hopp, in the tone of voice one usually hears applied to disobedient animals.
"I'm going home," Garner says.
"No you're not," he repeats, grabbing and bending her arm. It cracks. "Are you finished?"
"ARE YOU FINISHED?" Hopp is angry now, yelling at her. "WE DON'T PLAY THIS GAME."
"Oh, kick me and this is going to be bad," Hopp says.
"I'm going home," Garner says. "I'm going home. I'm going home."