Karen Garner arrest: Report details dishonesty, mistakes

Karen Garner, 73, suffered a broken arm and dislocated shoulder when she was arrested in 2020. A new report found that officers acted inappropriately and covered up evidence.

LOVELAND, Colo. – More than two years after the arrest of an elderly woman with dementia, Loveland police admit officers made grave mistakes.

Karen Garner, 73, was arrested while walking home along Mountain Lion Road in Loveland in June 2020. She had been to a nearby Walmart when she left without paying for $14 worth of items.

As police approached her, body camera images showed an officer forcibly pushing Garner to the ground. It resulted in a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder.

In the two years since the arrest, two officers involved in the case have been found guilty or found guilty of their involvement.

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This week, a newly released independent report by Jensen Hughes details dishonesty, cover-ups and misconduct during Garner’s arrest and after.

“First of all, the local police and the organization of the city of Loveland are sorry for what happened to Karen Garner,” said city manager Stephen Adams. “This report determined that officers involved on that day were behaving in a manner not befitting the Loveland Police Department.”

> Below: Body camera images show the arrest. These images were edited by the law firm that Garner represents. (Warning: The content of this video is graphic and may be distracting to some viewers.)

The report found that a supervisor, former Sgt. Metzler, cataloged his body camera images differently when he interacted with a citizen who complained about the use of force during Garner’s arrest and interaction with police officers. By reclassifying the footage, it was not associated with Garner’s case in the system and the footage’s retention period was reduced from 10 years to one year.

RELATED: Lawyer Claims New Video Shows Loveland Police Knew Of Injuries Inflicted To 73-Year-Old Woman During Arrest

Metzler proved to be a “bully” in his interaction with the citizen voicing his concerns. The report also found that he should have examined Garner’s injuries and instead traced them to minor cuts. Garner was left without medical treatment for five hours after she was arrested.

Garner’s family says the report still doesn’t deliver the accountability they hoped for.

“While we appreciate the time and attention that went into the report, we felt that” [Assistant] Chief Butler, who signed the arrest warrant, should be fired,” said Shannon Steward, Garner’s daughter-in-law.

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