Violent arrest of elderly woman with dementia has ‘accelerated’ her condition, daughter says

The daughter of a 73-year-old dementia patient who was violently arrested by police in Colorado said the incident has “accelerated” her mother’s condition and suggested the officers involved should face jail time.

Karen Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured arm, and sprained wrist, and other minor injuries during her arrest in June last year, reports have said.

Her family has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Loveland and police officers regarding the arrest.

Bodycam footage released by the department showed police throwing Ms Garner on the ground after she left Walmart with $13.88 (£10.04) worth of items without paying for them.

Now, in an interview with CBS News, Allisa Swartz, Ms Garner’s daughter, said that the trauma of the incident has “accelerated” her condition. “She’s scared, she’s anxious,” she said.

Speaking of the officers involved, Ms Swartz said she thinks they should be prosecuted. “I think they need to go to jail. Yes. They need to be held accountable,” she said.

In the video, Ms Garner turns her back to walk away from an officer who stopped her before they quickly grab and pin her to the ground.

While the police put her in handcuffs, the elderly woman repeatedly says “I am going home.” The charges against Ms Garner were later dismissed.

“Did he not understand because she’s repeating over and over ‘I’m just going home, I’m just going home. It’s as if he wasn’t listening to her,” Ms Swartz says in the interview.

Following the arrest, court papers said Ms Garner sat for more than six hours without medical attention with her injuries.

Officers were later seen laughing and fist-bumping while they watched the body camera footage and insensitively discussed the incident, CNN reported.

CBS News said that an audio engineer hired the elderly woman’s family to enhance audio from the police station to reveal their conversations.

Police chief Chief Bob Ticer confirmed on Friday that officers Austin Hopp, Daria Jalali, and community service officer Tyler Blackett are no longer employed by the force.

The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages, says that forgetting to pay for items in stores is commonplace behaviour among those with dementia.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press


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