Colorado cops brutally arrest Karen Garner, 73, who has dementia, for (probably inadvertent) shoplifting

Loveland Police Department, via The Life & Liberty Law Office.

This morning, Peter sent me a Washington Post article telling about the arrest of Karen Garner, a woman with dementia who is about my age. She left a Walmart without paying for items worth $13.88. Thinking about my inadvertent shoplifting episodes over the past years, Peter said, “My heart went cold when I saw this. It could have been you.”

Karen Garner weighs about 80 pounds. She was walking home, stopping to pick wild flowers, when the cops pulled up beside her. She was unable to understand the police officers’ commands: according to her family, her dementia—of which sensory aphasia is a symptom—left her unable to understand speech or to communicate easily. The photo at the top shows her still clinging to the wildflowers after she had been thrown to the ground. Karen’s arm was broken and her shoulder dislocated during the arrest. Back at the police station, she was held for six hours without medical care while the arresting cops laughed, whooped, and fist-bumped while watching the body cam footage of her arrest.

After reading the articles and watching the videos, I know it could have been worse: like me, Karen Garner is a white woman. It’s hard to imagine that the outcome would not have been even more horrific had she been a woman—or man—of color.

Click here to see a video from CNN of the police officers watching the body cam footage.