Colorado Woman With Dementia in Violent Arrest Reaches $3M Settlement With City

Karen Garner was pushed to the ground and handcuffed by police who were later heard mocking the woman while replaying video of the arrest. Two ex-officers face criminal charges stemming from the incident.

A 73-year-old woman with dementia who was seen in disturbing bodycam video being pushed to the ground and handcuffed by police in Loveland, Colorado, will receive $3 million from the city to settle a lawsuit brought on her behalf.

Last summer, Karen Garner was accused of attempting to shoplift $14 worth of items from a Walmart. She was arrested while walking down a country road carrying wild flowers. Garner’s family says she didn’t understand what was happening because of her dementia.

“I’m just going home,” Garner told police as she pushed to the ground. 

When another officer came to assist, Garner was pushed hard against the cop car. She suffered a dislocated shoulder and broken arm in the incident.

Then came shocking surveillance video of police officers mocking her ordeal as they viewed the arrest video. 

“This incident shocked us by exposing us to the lowest form of human behavior and indecency, particularly by people that should know how to show respect and an inability to just do the right thing,” Garner’s daughter-in-law Shannon Steward said during a press conference.

Despite the settlement, the police department found the use of force to be “minor [and] reasonable and appropriate for the situation.”

“There needs to be change in this department,” Garner’s daughter Allisa Swartz said. “I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else’s families.”

The officers involved have since resigned, and two of them face criminal charges.

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