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Grandma With Dementia Who Was Tackled Picking Flowers Wins $3M Payout

by : Hannah Smith on : 09 Sep 2021 08:44
Grandma With Dementia Who Was Tackled Picking Flowers Wins $3M PayoutPA/WION/YouTube

An elderly woman with dementia has been awarded $3 million in compensation after she was violently arrested by police officers last year.

Karen Garner’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in after the grandmother suffered a broken arm and dislocated shoulder when she was tackled to the ground by two officers for alleged shoplifting.

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Garner, who in bodycam footage could be seen walking through a field with flowers in her hand as she was approached by the officers, had walked out of a Walmart in Loveland, Colorado without paying for a bottle of Pepsi, a t-shirt and some wipes, amounting to around $14.

Karen Garner shortly before her arrest (Loveland Police Department)Loveland Police Department

The two officers involved in the arrest, Daria Jalali and Austin Hopp, have resigned from the force and are facing criminal charges after CCTV footage showed them laughing and fist-bumping as they watched bodycam footage from the arrest, in which Garner was pinned to the ground and then held against the bonnet of a police car with her arm behind her back.

Other footage showed a confused Garner slumped in a police cell, confusedly telling officers, ‘I want to go home.’ According to the lawsuit, she was denied medical care for four hours despite complaining about her injuries.

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Police officers fist bump following arrest of elderly woman (Loveland Police Department)Loveland Police Department

Sky News reports that her family claimed that Garner, who suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia, declined following the incident and now requires ‘around-the-clock care’.

According to CNN, they chose to settle the lawsuit after discovering an old letter written by Garner before her diagnosis, in which she said, ‘I feel the world is getting crueler. Don’t make it any rougher for yourself by living in the past. Look out the front window. Don’t dwell on what’s in the rearview mirror.’

Loveland Police Chief Bob Ticer apologised for the incident on Wednesday, saying there was ‘no excuse, under any circumstances, for what happened to Ms Garner’.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Colorado, dementia, Lawsuit, Now, Police

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Sky News
  1. Sky News

    Karen Garner: Woman with dementia whose arm was broken during Colorado arrest to get $3m pay-out