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Karen Garner Arrest: 3 Loveland Police Officers Who Were Involved Lose Their Jobs, Chief Apologizes

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) - Three officers who were involved in the arrest of Karen Garner last year have resigned from the Loveland Police Department. Police Chief Bob Ticer made the announcement on Friday morning that Austin Hopp, Daria Jalali and Tyler Blackett are no longer employed by his deparment, and he issued a public apology.

He also made comments about an internal affairs investigation that will be handled by the city "in consultation with a third-party investigator."

"We believe that's the right thing to do in this case is have an outside investigator take a look at this case and examine every issue related to policy, procedure and learn from that, and answer many questions that I know that are out there today," he said.

The announcement comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the forceful 2020 arrest of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia.

City Council heard public comment on Tuesday night from residents upset about the body cam footage that shows police confronting Garner in June after she was accused of stealing $14 worth of merchandise from a Walmart.

karen garner arrest in loveland
(credit: The Life & Liberty Law Office)

In a federal lawsuit filed against the Loveland Police Department, Garner's attorney claims she suffered a dislocated shoulder, broken arm and sprained wrist and was denied medical attention for hours. Additional video obtained from an open records request shows the former officers joking about the arrest.

The district attorney for Larimer County is looking into whether there might be charges filed against any of the former officers in relation to Garner's legal team's claims of serious bodily injury. The department says it was unaware Garner suffered injuries until it was brought to their attention two weeks ago.

Ticer said there has been an outpouring of concern from people in the Loveland area as well as much more widely -- across Colorado, the country and internationally.

"Our goal has always been to make our community proud. We failed, and we are very sorry for that," he said.

Garner's family responded to the officers' resignations, complete with pensions, with this statement through attorney Sarah Schielke, "Today we listened to Chief Ticer give a speech singularly endeavoring to protect only himself and the reputation of the LPD. He repeatedly dodged questions regarding our family. He made no reference to Karen personally. And just like on June 26, 2020, the inhumane treatment of our mother was ignored and his continued support of the department was the focus. He said that our mother's case has "hurt him personally." It is clear that the only thing that has "hurt him personally" has been the attention this case has brought to his department. Not what happened to our mother. We are disappointed."

Earlier this month, Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh said in an interview with CBS4 that "the public is outraged."

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