US police officers seen laughing as they watch 73-year-old woman with dementia being arrested
The pensioner, Karen Garner, was arrested on June 26, 2020, after she allegedly left a Walmart in Loveland, Colorado, without paying for about $14 worth of items.
Her family says she left without paying out of confusion.
Officer Austin Hopp's body camera footage shows him catching up to her as she walks along a road.
He asks her if she needs to be arrested, to which she shrugs and turns away from him.
He then grabs her arm and pushes her to the ground as she repeatedly says: "I'm going home."
Officer Hopp is accused of dislocating the shoulder of the 73-year-old woman while arresting her.
Police arrest Karen Garner - a warning this video contains footage viewers may find distressing
The body cam footage was released by Ms Garner's lawyer Sarah Schielke earlier this month.
Separate video taken from surveillance camera in the police station shows the arrest footage being replayed in Loveland police station as Officer Hopp and two of his colleagues - a man and a woman - watch.
The surveillance video, released by Ms Garner's lawyer on Monday, shows Hop telling his fellow officers: "Ready for the pop?"
The female officer tells her co-workers, "I hate this" as she pulls her hat over her eyes. Officer Hopp responds, "This is great". The two men laugh.
Ms Garden is suing three police officers over her arrest. Officer Hopp has been placed on leave pending an investigation.
The second male officer watching the footage and a sergeant who signed off on the paperwork the officers were filling out while they watched the body camera video are also defendants in Garner’s lawsuit.
Earlier in the surveillance video, Officer Hopp says Ms Garner is “flexible”. He then makes another reference to the popping sound, telling the female officer that “I was pushing, pushing, pushing. I hear — pop. I was like ‘oh no,’” he said. The female officer puts her head in her hands.
At the time, Ms Garner was in a holding cell a few feet away, handcuffed to a bench. She received no medical care for about six hours after she was taken to jail.
Later in the surveillance video, Hopp and the other male officer fist bump.
In the police station video, Hopp says he is a little worried that Garner is “like senile and stuff.” Several times, he and the other officers say she fought with police and Hopp says she got her handcuffs halfway off.
The arrest and footage are being investigated by a team of outside law enforcement agencies. The city of Loveland said it will also conduct a review.
Loveland police declined to comment on the video from the police station, citing the criminal investigation being conducted at the district attorney’s request.
It said in a statement: “Independent comment from the Loveland Police Department would not be appropriate at this time. LPD has faith in the due process that this investigation allows for.”
Hopp could not be located for comment.
Sarah Schielke, the lawyer representing Ms Garner, said: “If I didn’t release this (surveillance footage in the police station), the Loveland Police’s toxic culture of arrogance and entitlement, along with their horrific abuse of the vulnerable and powerless, would carry on, business as usual. I won’t be a part of that."