73-year-old Karen Garner photo provided by Allisa Swartz and the Associated Press
Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer announced the departures of Officers Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali and Community Services Officer Tyler Blackett in connection to the arrest of Karen Garner at a news conference, without providing details about how they left. Department spokesman Tom Hacker later confirmed they had resigned.
Ticer noted that last year’s treatment of Garner in the city about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Denver, revealed by the filing of a federal lawsuit this month, had led to an outpouring of concern and anger in the community, the country and around the world and apologized.
Sarah Schielke, the lawyer representing Garner and her family, said the department has a toxic culture that goes beyond the three officers who resigned and she thinks Ticer should have also stepped down to take responsibility for it.
“It’s this attitude of arrogance and entitlement, and frivolity taken in the use of force on its citizens and complete disregard for the people they’re policing,” she said.
She also faulted the department for not firing the supervisory sergeant and another sergeant who approved of Hopp’s use of force report.
Ticer said he did not know of Garner’s serious injuries until the lawsuit but he declined to say how many people in his chain of command knew about her injuries, saying that would be looked at by a city investigation into whether police policies were followed in the arrest. That probe will not start until after an investigation to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted that is being conducted by police in nearby Fort Collins. They are part of a team of area law enforcement agencies that investigates other departments’ uses of force resulting in serious injuries in coordination with the district attorney.