Phil Metzler, Loveland police sergeant connected to violent Karen Garner arrest, resigns

A sergeant with the Loveland Police Department has resigned after an independent investigation into the use of force against Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia who was thrown to the ground and injured by an officer.

Sgt. Phil Metzler was a supervising officer who responded to the scene and approved the use of force by Officer Austin Hopp. Additionally, Metzler, along with two others, signed off on the use of force in August 2020, two months after the incident occurred, according to court documents.

In June 2020, Garner had started to walk out of a Walmart store in Loveland without paying — $13.88 — for items when she was stopped by employees, who took the items back. Employees called Loveland police and Hopp confronted Garner, throwing her to the ground, breaking her arm and dislocating her shoulder. Hopp faces a felony assault charge in the incident.

Earlier this month, Loveland agreed to a $3 million settlement with Garner’s family over the violent arrest.

Metzler submitted his resignation as a department disciplinary review proceeds, police said on Wednesday.

“A chief of police does not have the ability to prevent an officer from resigning,” said Chief Robert Ticer in a news release, “but this resignation closes one more chapter of an incident that has tarnished the hard work of the men and women of the Loveland Police Department who have and continue to serve with honor.”

The disciplinary review process continues with others involved in this investigation. Hopp and officers Daria Jalali and Tyler Blackett have resigned over the incident.

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