LOVELAND— For the first time, the Loveland police chief addressed 73-year-old Karen Garner’s arrest during a Monday meeting with the Police Department Citizens Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to the city council.
Residents in attendance called on Chief Robert Ticer to resign. Frustrations flared at the meeting as citizens called out Ticer, who claims he found out about Garner’s arrest on April 14 after an employee brought it to his attention, nearly ten months after the incident.
Dawn Kirk was skeptical of the timeline of events Ticer outlined.
“Either you didn’t know, which means that you are incompetent, or you did know and you are lying to us,” Kirk said.
June Dreith told Ticer he would never regain the credibility he lost.
“I actually believe you should resign as well as the other officers,” Dreith said. “You have lost credibility, and we need to start rebuilding from the ground up.”
Ticer expressed concern over the arrest, and pointed to the police department's transparency in releasing body camera video. He also outlined his actions after reviewing video of the arrest, including having staff review the video, contacting the district attorney’s office and ultimately concluding the Critical Incident Response Team needed to investigate the incident.
“There is no doubt that this is as serious as it gets. This is our community,” Ticer said.
The family attorney said Garner's arm was broken during the arrest, and she suffered from a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist for allegedly shoplifting less than $14 worth of items from a Walmart. Garner also has dementia. Her attorney filed a federal lawsuit against the city and five officers.
Three officers involved in the arrest have resigned. A police sergeant remains on administrative leave.
“We are extremely concerned about this situation. This is our community too,” Ticer said. “We work here, we live here, we want to have a great community, we want to see our community members treated fairly and equally and compassion.”
City Councilman Don Overcash said he was shocked by the video. “Justifiable anger and outrage is understandable” he said, calling on citizens to be patient.
He also has a number of questions he wants answered and hopes the district attorney’s investigation will answer the questions many have when it wraps up.
Overcash also proposed a trust committee during the meeting to address issues in the police department.
The district attorney’s office is reviewing all evidence to determine if officers will face charges. After completing their investigation, a second investigation will ensue by a third party investigator.
Ticer also pointed out that officers will undergo new training to help them better address people experiencing a crisis.