A father tried to protect his daughter, then cops attacked him and his dog

The Loveland, Colorado, Police Department has made national headlines for brutality and overreach. But a new case involving the disturbing arrest of an entire family is raising more questions about what local officials are doing—if anything—to rein in the agency. PAR takes a deep dive into the details of a lawsuit filed against Loveland police, and speaks to a local civil rights attorney who is fighting for change in a town that seems incapable of embracing it.

Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


TRANSCRIPT

Taya Graham:  Hello. My name is Taya Graham, and welcome to the Police Accountability Report. As I always make clear, this show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. To do so, we don’t just focus on the bad behavior of individual cops. Instead, we examine the system that makes bad policing possible. Today, we will do so by showing you body camera footage that depicts the questionable actions of officers in a town already well-known for bad policing. The video shows cops wrestling and hitting a young girl, and tasering her father, and attacking the family dog, all over a slap. But we will be examining why the Colorado town where this happened has allowed bad policing to flourish and what, if anything, is being done to rein it in.

But before we get started, I want you watching to note that if you have evidence of police misconduct, please email it to us privately at par@therealnews.com. Please like, share, and comment on our videos. You know I read your comments and that I appreciate them. Of course you can always reach out to me directly @tayasbaltimore on Facebook or Twitter. And of course if you can, please hit the Patreon donate link pinned in the comments below, because we do have some extras there for our PAR family. Okay. We’ve gotten all that out of the way.

Now, if there is an aspect of American policing that sometimes stumps me, it’s that even when authorities are well aware of problems within a specific department, the bad behavior often persists. Just based on my reporting around the country, I’ve often noticed that egregious examples of over-policing are met with deafening silence. Sometimes we encounter a case that gives us a sense of why policing can be so difficult to reform. In other words, occasionally a case is so appalling it exposes the real problem driving bad policing in so many of our communities.

What the case I’m about to show you reveals is just that: a truism about American policing that gets lost in all the rhetoric about law enforcement that Americans are subjected to on a daily basis. But before I get into the details of the story, I’m going to make a statement that goes against all the rhetoric about law enforcement you hear every day from breathless politicians. It’s an assertion that I will back up with specifics. Here it is: The reason law enforcement is so hard to reform is because we have so much of it. The reason you can’t change policing is because it’s grown too big, and some officers have nothing better to do than wreak havoc in the name of preserving their own power.

Case in point is the story I’m about to share with you now. It involves a father, his 14-year-old daughter, and a dog. It also includes four cops who handcuffed, tasered, and charged the family for a slap. That’s right. Four cops, all caught on video you are seeing now, exercising the powers of law enforcement for the betterment of the community because a child slapped a young man. I’m not even kidding.

Now, the community where this occurred might be familiar to our viewers. In fact, the relatively small department in a city that touts itself as a Western paradise filled with hiking trails and parks has become somewhat of a national example of what’s wrong with policing in general. And I’m talking about Loveland, Colorado.

One of their former officers was recently sentenced to five years in prison for violently arresting 73-year-old Karen Garner. The Loveland grandmother had been accused of stealing roughly $14 worth of goods from a nearby Walmart. But that didn’t stop Officer Austin Hopp from taking her to the ground violently, dislocating her shoulder and fracturing her arm, all of this for a woman suffering from dementia and completely unaware of why she was being arrested in the first place.

Of course just recently, we covered the illegal arrest of a man for a DUI who actually blew a 0.00 during a sobriety test, but Loveland cops decided to arrest him anyway. Loveland Police eventually forced the man to take a blood test which also came back negative for all impairing substances, and is now the subject of a civil rights lawsuit.

All of this, including the public attention focused on the department, thanks in great part to civil rights lawyer Sarah Schielke, who we will be speaking with a little later, would perhaps prompt a department to get its act together. I mean, the series of videos made national news. So logically, one would think that leadership there would right the ship, so to speak. Well that’s not what happened, not hardly.

As you can see in this video we are showing you now, the Loveland Police Department has yet again brought us another questionable arrest. Their target this time – Wait for it – A 14-year-old girl. Her crime: domestic violence. Now, just a quick word on domestic violence before I proceed. It is a very serious crime committed by both men and women alike, and it should be investigated and dealt with by police posthaste. But I think you’ll see as I unpack the facts here, this is not a case that needed four officers, a taser, and animal cruelty to mitigate.

The story starts in a grocery store parking lot in Loveland. There, a 14-year-old girl had a fight with her boyfriend, allegedly over cheating. The disagreement culminates in a slap, with the young girl slapping her 18-year-old boyfriend and then leaving the scene. But this relatively minor altercation was witnessed by a Loveland City Police Officer, and instead of just writing it off as a harmless dispute among children, or perhaps considering that he needed to get the parents of both teenagers involved in resolving this, he decided to investigate to secure an arrest. Not only that, since he was training a fellow officer, he enlisted him as well to join in.

The police approached the young man, but he told them the slap did not harm him, so he declined to press charges. But, undeterred, vigilant detectives began questioning other witnesses. Soon, they built an airtight case and decided to charge the young girl with domestic violence. This despite the fact that the victim had said the slap caused him no injuries or pain. So not one, not two, not three, but four Loveland police officers decided to hunt down the 14-year-old girl and arrest her. So they showed up at her home where she lived with her father and then started banging on the door, searching for the criminal. Let’s watch.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Speaker:  [knocking on glass] I’ll try a couple more times. [knocking]

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Eventually, her father, who works as a butcher in a nearby grocery store, arrived home. There, his daughter asked him to fix her bike, which was broken. And as he was preparing to do so, he noticed multiple missed calls on his phone from the Loveland Police. He called them, they showed up, and then this happened.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Speaker:  We have a DV, a juvenile DV.

Officer Sikla:  Are you going to tell me what happened between you guys today?

Ms. Sears:  I was asking for my shit back because we got in a breakup because he likes to cheat on me [inaudible]. So I wanted my unicorn back, my lanyard back, my elephant back, and my bike –

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Now, one important note as we continue to review the video. Loveland Police internal regulations state that unless a child poses an immediate violent threat, restraints should not be used. But that didn’t stop these officers from putting her in cuffs. Take a look.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Officer Sikla:  [high pitched beeping] Stop. Stop.

Mr. Sears:  No, that’s my daughter!

Officer Sikla:  Put that down.

Mr. Sears:  This is my daughter. She’s 14.

Officer Sikla:  I understand.

Mr. Sears:  You can’t arrest a 14-year-old. [dog barking] No, you cannot!

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Now, like any father watching his daughter being manhandled by four grown men, it was simply too much to take. So he tried to intervene. And how did the Loveland cops respond? Watch.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Officer Sikla:  Stop. Stop.

Mr. Sears:  No, that’s my daughter!

Officer Sikla:  Put that down.

Mr. Sears:  This is my daughter. She’s 14.

Officer Sikla:  I understand.

Mr. Sears:  You can’t arrest a 14-year-old. [dog barking] No, you cannot!

Officer Sikla:  Yes, we can.

Mr. Sears:  No, you can’t. Bullshit! Let me get my dog.

Officer Sikla:  You are not going to walk over this –

Mr. Sears:  Let me get my fucking dog!

Officer Sikla:  You are not going to walk over –

Mr. Sears:  He’s going to start biting everybody. Let me get my dog!

Officer Sikla:  Get on the ground! Get on the ground!

Mr. Sears:  Let me get my fucking dog!

Officer Sikla:  Get on the ground.

Mr. Sears:  I’m not resisting shit.

Officer Sikla:  [dog growling] Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Stay down! Don’t move! You stay down, don’t move! If you get up, you are going to get tased again. Do you understand me?

Mr. Sears:  I’m getting my dog, dude.

Officer Sikla:  You stay down!

Mr. Sears:  I was getting my dog!

Officer Sikla:  Roll over onto your stomach. [screaming in background]

Mr. Sears:  I was getting my dog.

Officer Sikla:  Put your hands behind your back. Put your hands behind your back! Do not move!

Mr. Sears:  I won’t, sir. I won’t. I won’t move. Stop! Stop, baby!

Ms. Sears:  You seen him put his [hands on him] –

Mr. Sears:  Can you put my dog away please?

Officer Sikla:  We will take care of your dog. Put your –

Mr. Sears:  Please I don’t want you guys to shoot him or anything.

Officer Sikla:  We’re not going to shoot your dog. Knock it off.

Mr. Sears:  God dammit.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  And not to be outdone or to let the beleaguered family off easy, police also attacked the family dog, Skippy.

[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]

Ms. Sears:  Get off of me, dude.

Mr. Sears:  I was trying to get my dog! You guys!

Ms. Sears:  [screaming][inaudible]

Officer Sikla:  You okay?

Mr. Sears:  She’s 14 fucking years old. This is a joke. [dog yipping]

Officer Sikla:  Yeah. Drop her down. Drop her down and get on top of her. We cannot do this.

Mr. Sears:  God dammit.

Ms. Sears:  You’re fucking hurting me!

Officer Sikla:  Stop.

Mr. Sears:  Don’t choke my dog.

Officer Sikla:  I’m not choking. I’m a canine officer, dude.

Mr. Sears:  God dammit.

Officer Sikla:  Geez Louise.

Mr. Sears:  God dammit.

Ms. Sears:  You’re choking my dog!

Officer Sikla:  Can you get your feet out of the way?

Mr. Sears:  Shut the fucking door.

Officer Sikla:  Can you get your feet out of the way? [inaudible]. Get back.

Mr. Sears:  My god. He’s a fucking joke. No wonder why you guys get a bad rap. You fucking pushed me for no reason –

Officer Sikla:  Shut your mouth.

Mr. Sears:  – I had no fucking weapons.

Officer Sikla:  You are under arrest.

Mr. Sears:  For what?

Officer Sikla:  Obstructing and resisting arrest.

Mr. Sears:  I didn’t obstruct nothing. I was trying to help you.

Officer Sikla:  Stop.

Mr. Sears:  Jesus fucking Christ.

Officer Sikla:  Stop.

Mr. Sears:  Get your captain.

Officer Sikla:  Roll on your side.

[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]

Taya Graham:  Like I said, domestic violence is a terrible crime, but kids make mistakes, and this kid was taken to the ground brutally, bruised, abraded, and given a concussion. She had to witness her father being manhandled and tasered, and even her dog being choked and attacked. No kid deserves that.

Now, like most police overreach, this might have remained pretty much secret if not for the tireless work of civil rights attorney Sarah Schielke, as I mentioned before, who I will be interviewing later. But first, I’m joined by my reporting partner Stephen Janis, who’s been reviewing the documents and reaching out to the department. Stephen, thank you so much for joining me.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  So you’ve been reviewing the lawsuit and related documents. What stands out to you?

Stephen Janis:  Well what stands out to me that I think is really interesting is the fact that the lawsuit cites and alleges that there were quotas, and quotas might have been behind this arrest. That every officer in the Loveland Police Department knew that they had to make 10 arrests a day, if not more. The more you made, the more beneficial assignments you got, the more overtime you got, and the better shifts. So it’s clear that this was incentivized policing, and the problems we’ve talked about continually on the show, that you can’t incentivize law enforcement.

Taya Graham:  See, that’s interesting. We found very similar evidence from the illegal DUI arrest, right?

Stephen Janis:  Yeah, absolutely. I mean they were giving trophies and awards for making arrests, DUI arrests, one of the reasons we covered a DUI arrest where a man actually blew a 0.0 and still got arrested, and you can see this throughout policing in this country. There are lots of grants that are totally tied to stats that prompt officers to make arrests that aren’t necessary. I think this is a classic case. And we’ve seen it within the same department, so it’s really a problem.

Taya Graham:  So what do these arrests tell you about what’s actually going on with American policing? What’s your takeaway?

Stephen Janis:  Well I think it’s a cautionary tale about this idea that we need more police, and more police means more safety. The thing is if there’s not a lot going on, which may be true in a city like Loveland, police are going to use their powers anyway. You can’t give all these people power and badges and guns and handcuffs and expect them not to use them even if there’s nothing that needs to be addressed. I think this case is a classic example of what happens when we over-empower police, when we create too much police capacity, and the law enforcement-industrial complex becomes too big to do anything useful. They just make stuff up, and that’s what this is about.

Taya Graham:  Now, I’m joined by a lawyer who’s been at the forefront of holding the Loveland Police Department accountable, Sarah Schielke. Sarah, thank you so much for joining me.

Sarah Schielke:  Thanks for having me.

Taya Graham:  So we have a young man, 18 years old, who ended his relationship or affiliation with this 14-year-old, and she slapped him, but he chose not to press charges. Do you have any idea why the police spent hours tracking this girl to arrest her?

Sarah Schielke:  Yeah, I can’t speak for them. I have no idea. Some people, certainly, with the police department I know would contend that Colorado is a mandatory arrest domestic violence state. So for this reason, they felt that they had to arrest her. I would dispute some components of whether domestic violence even applied here given the ages and given the lack of interest from the other individual involved. However, the bigger issue going on here is the method of the arrest. 

Let’s even just assume that they had no choice, they couldn’t talk to a supervisor to get an override, they couldn’t get a judge. The method is the real problem. A lot of people assume that an arrest requires handcuffing, and it most certainly does not. In the context of juveniles, of children, there is an abundance of law and policy both that state, starting at the police department, going through state law into federal, very special rules for how arrest of juveniles are done, and very much directing that handcuffs should really only be used in the case of a violent felony.

So the issue and the theme, really, with Loveland time and time again just seems to be that whenever they, if you want to call it get an inch, they go 10 miles. So here’s an occasion where, sure, you technically can make a domestic violence arrest. So to them, that’s let’s get all the officers, let’s arrest this kid, let’s show this field training officer we have with us how we do it, and that’s very scary. That’s extremely scary to watch. Because if you want to begin from a place that they had to make this arrest, which I don’t agree that they did, but even if you want to begin there, then I think none of us even have law enforcement training and I think that all of us would think, all right. I’m going to go, I’m going to say, listen. Listen, dad. This is pretty awkward. We feel like we don’t have a choice but to make this arrest for a slap, but obviously she’s a kid. Obviously this is the most minor offense humanly imaginable. We’re just going to need to drive her to the station and back. Can you bring her out for that?

I think that literally every parent would be like, fine. Great, especially if the alternative is handcuffing and violence. But Loveland never affords its citizens the opportunity or chance to make it through an encounter with them without being disrespected and hurt. That’s what’s really troubling.

Taya Graham:  When the officers finally found the family, they did not inform her father that they were interviewing her because they wanted to arrest her. As a minor, shouldn’t her father have been able to either guide his daughter while she was being interviewed, or asked for a lawyer, or maybe told his daughter not to answer questions? Was this a purposeful tactic to get the girl to incriminate herself?

Sarah Schielke:  Absolutely was, and it was intimidating to the father too, as well. I mean you can imagine that he’s getting all these phone calls from them saying, we need to talk to her about this incident. We need to talk about this incident. Then there’s like multiple squad cars and police showing up, all of them insisting, we’re just here to talk to her about this incident at Safeway. I mean, I know if I were a parent and I didn’t have the knowledge I have of police now, if I were a more typical parent, I would think that maybe my child was a witness to something really important or urgent, and so I really wouldn’t think twice about having to come out, and I wouldn’t really have my guard up about maybe they have something nefarious intended for my child. So I think that was very duplicitous on the part of these police officers. And again, we permit some degree of manipulative lying behavior by police in the context of interviewing adults, especially in the context of when there’s been very serious crimes.

Those sorts of ends, at least for us as a society, can start to justify the means. But when you have a child and you have literally the most marginal, if that, non-crime type of event, the idea that multiple officers would go and trick the parent to get the child into incriminating is even more damning and disgusting, really, on the part of this police department. Because they’re not cracking a case or doing some hard-hitting investigation. If they’re being forced to have to make this arrest, if that’s the argument they want to make, then they should do it with respect to the family and concern, and not these kinds of tactics. Not these kinds of aggressive, manipulative, duplicitous types of tactics.

Taya Graham:  So the father was tasered by the officer, but I really can’t understand why. I mean, he was unarmed and trying to control his dog, and it seemed that he was being compliant. What is really happening here?

Sarah Schielke:  What you explained is what I see and what anybody who isn’t interested in inflicting violence on our community is seeing, which is that this dad has a singular purpose, which is to keep his dog from being shot. He’s in the presence of a police department that he knows, he has personal knowledge, has shot other dogs in his neighborhood recently. His daughter is starting to be manhandled and arrested. The dog is sensing the intensity of this and beginning to bark and possibly do what we know dogs do, which could include nipping or biting. So both to keep his dog safe and the thought I have too, and I know from talking with him this was a big thing as well, the real tangible fear and wanting to avoid his daughter seeing his dog be shot. I mean if you want to imagine possibly the worst kind of trauma you can inflict on a child would be something like that. So all he wants to do is remove his dog.

The Colorado Dog Protection Act actually requires officers to give owners the opportunity to remove their dogs before they do stuff like this. Instead of doing that, it’s this whole ambush event. And when he’s so singularly focused on the dog, and then the officer’s body cam who does the tasing, that’s Officer Sikla, Sikla perceives it as Loveland officers do, which is that the second Mr. Sears doesn’t capitulate and subjugate himself to the command, I think he said, I need to get my dog, and Sikla said, no, you’re not getting your dog, and the second that happened, that is in Loveland policing world, what they consider to be permission to use all the force that they have on them.

Taya Graham:  The family seem terrified by the brutal arrest. How are they doing, and how has this impacted them?

Sarah Schielke:  Yeah, they’re never going to be the same again. The immediate aftermath was obviously a lot of physical pain for both of them. The daughter, she has difficulty even remembering what happened after being arrested and believes that she probably sustained some form of concussion from her head being thrashed around on the cement staircase area. For her, she never had problems with panic attacks prior to this, and it became pretty regular. They don’t get to feel safe in their own home in Loveland anymore, and no ability to trust police.

With respect to the dog, I think there’s a particularly sad outcome in that… His name is Skippy. Skippy was very friendly, and you can see at the beginning of this video that he’s just friendly and sniffing the officers, but after this incident, he became so aggressive towards any stranger coming to the house that they actually had to rehome him with family out of state. They couldn’t even keep their dog because Skippy was just never right again. I think it’s funny. It’s not funny, but it’s sad. I rewatched the videos, just keeping an eye on what Skippy was doing. I was trying to just see who he bit and when. And Skippy did a pretty heroic job here making sure to really not bite the daughter during this and just going for the hands of these big strangers that were on her and causing her all this distress. It’s sad, but you can certainly understand and relate for a Jack Russell terrier type of dog, how this event would kind of be pretty permanently traumatic. Unfortunately for the Sears family, they weren’t able to ever get their old Skippy back, and so had to send him away.

It’s scars and holes left everywhere for this family, and really foreseeable ones, to be honest. They’re the type of long-lasting injuries, both physical and emotional, that you would think with being a civilized society that there would be stopgaps to prevent that from happening so easily over something so stupid. But we’re not living in that kind of a civilized society here in Loveland, unfortunately.

Taya Graham:  What were the exact charges that were given, and is the prosecutor moving forward with these charges?

Sarah Schielke:  So all of the criminal charges were eventually dropped, but the Loveland Police Department filed charges on the daughter. They filed a domestic violence harassment charge and they filed obstruction of a police officer charge, resisting arrest charge. And then against dad they filed obstruction and resisting charges. All of the typical coverup excessive force by police charges were filed on everybody.

Taya Graham:  Now, I think this entire ordeal reveals an important truism about American law enforcement, that 17,000 agencies staffed by cops with guns and badges across the country suffer from a common malady. They have too much power. That power creates two distinct problems which create the overreach which we witnessed in this case. One is the ability of police and police unions to meddle in politics to ensure cops are practically speaking above the law. And two, the amount of money that is breathlessly given to police without that normal and healthy process of accountability insulates them from the unfair economic system they enforce. It’s this confluence of money and politics and self-interest that has delivered us into the problematic policing we’ve witnessed over and over again across the country.

Case in point is the fallout from the firing of an assistant police chief in Kent, Washington. Kent Assistant Police Chief Derek Kammerzell got into trouble after he put Nazi insignias on the door of his office. An independent investigation found that Kammerzell was well aware that the gold laurels and stars posted on his door were Nazi symbols. They also found that he mentioned Nazism to his colleagues on more than one occasion. Now, it’s bad enough that an assistant police chief would surround himself with the symbology of a brutal fascist regime. I mean, you must feel pretty empowered to associate yourself with Nazis openly and embrace their iconography in the workplace without any fear of repercussions. But it’s when Kent City leadership decided it was time for Kammerzell to go that this story becomes even more revealing about the power of police.

That’s because in order to force him to resign, the city agreed to pay the former cop $1.5 million. I’m not kidding. To get this obviously obnoxious and clueless assistant chief to take a hike, the city had to hand over $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars. That’s million with an M. I want you to think about that for a second. Think about this in relation to your life or mine. What would happen to us if we went around our workplace doing something similar? How long would we last? How much would we get paid to leave? I mean what kind of buyout would we get? I can answer that. Bye. You’re out.

But not cops. No, they have entirely different standards. For a cop to quit, you better open the checkbook. To get a cop to resign, you have to pay him a hefty sum courtesy of the working taxpayers. Meanwhile, all of us could be left with nothing. In fact, regular workers who are fired for cause are generally not even entitled to unemployment benefits. We would, put simply, be out on the street, not pocketing over $1 million for being an ass.

The point is that this payout to the disgraced chief reveals the true extortionist nature of police power. That is, police have insulated themselves from economic accountability because they are part of the system that enforces its inequity. In other words, policing is just as much immersed in suppressing political efficacy and economic inequality as they are in fighting crime. So what do I mean? Well consider this recent reporting from The New York Times. The piece examined roughly 433 mass shooter attacks in the US since 2001. Reporters found that roughly 60% of the time, the attacker either ended it themselves or was subdued by a bystander before police arrived. In only 40% of the cases did police actually arrive before the shooting stopped, and in those cases, almost 25% were ended, again, by the shooter committing suicide.

The reason I cite this story is simple. The underlying argument that we need more police, unlimited funding, and undying loyalty to the institution of law enforcement in general is made in the name of safety. That is, we have to provide policing with unlimited public resources if we want to save our civilization. Put simply, police are the thin blue line between us and chaos. It’s a pretty disturbing argument. Exchange your safety and your rights to a group of armed government officials who also have the power to imprison you or take your life. Along with those powers, provide them with lifetime pensions, pricey benefits, and in the case of a former assistant police chief, huge payouts if they have to leave their job for bad behavior.

Curiously though, there is one group of people in the history of this country that might not have bought that argument, a specific set of uniquely American thinkers who would probably find the whole idea troublesome if not downright crazy. That’s because nowhere in the document that founded this country is the mention of policing, nothing in the framework that provides for our civil liberties do the people who create it say, we better constitute a police force if we want to preserve the republic. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the Constitution itself was premised upon one essential idea: skepticism of concentrated power. I can only imagine what the people who created it would have thought of the political and social capital afforded police.

Let me say this. I’m not necessarily any sort of originalist when it comes to the document itself. I perhaps would be what one would call a Ninth Amendment adherent. In other words, I think the open-ended clause left in by the founders that said any rights not mentioned in this draft can be added later was meant to remind us that this is an organic document. Thus, I think and believe we should be expanding our rights as much as possible as long as we adhere to the basic principle of being wary and mindful of concentrating power anywhere for anyone. Which is why the constant drumbeat that supporting police is an all or nothing proposition astounds me, why the ongoing arguments over defund verus fund or blue lives versus our lives and all the attendant nonsense just strikes me as missing the point altogether.

I mean, even if we could give every last penny to the cops, how much difference would it make? Why is the argument for or against police so focused on money and not examining the ideas that drive it? I think we can find part of the answer in the $1.5 million payout to the Nazi groupie assistant chief. Paying that amount of money to get rid of a bad cop only proves the idea that police are in fact public servants is absolutely ludicrous. The idea that acting like a jerk on the job nets you a fortune is just, to me, a reiteration of the fact that policing is solely about power, not safety. Power, I would add, that has been misused, abused, and otherwise misapplied. The whole idea of this country is that the power actually belongs to the people. But how can we argue that when a bad cop makes more money for getting fired than an honest, hard working person earns in their lifetime? Answer that question, and I think you’ll understand my point.

I want to thank civil rights attorney Sarah Schielke for speaking with us and for sharing her work to help reform the Loveland Police Department. Thank you, Sarah. and she also has a YouTube channel at Sarah Life & Liberty Law, which we will link below in the comments for you. If you want to learn more about police brutality in Colorado, please click here on this link for more of our reporting. And of course I want to thank Intrepid reporter Stephen Janis for his writing, research, and editing on this piece. Thank you so much, Stephen.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  And I want to thank mods of the show Noli Dee and Lacey R for their support. Thank you. And a very special thanks to our Patreon patrons. We appreciate you, and I look forward to thanking each and every single one of you personally in our next livestream.

I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at par@therealnews.com and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram or @eyesonpolice on Twitter. Of course you can always message me directly @tayasbaltimore on Twitter and Facebook. Please like and comment. I really do read your comments and I appreciate them. We also have a Patreon link pinned in the comments below, so if you feel inspired to donate, please do so. We don’t run ads or take corporate dollars, so anything you can spare is greatly appreciated. My name is Taya Graham, and I am your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please, be safe out there.

Taya Graham

Host & Producer
Taya Graham is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered U.S. politics, local government, and the criminal justice system. She is the host of TRNN's "Police Accountability Report," and producer and co-creator of the award-winning podcast "Truth and Reconciliation" on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WYPR. She has written extensively for a variety of publications including the Afro American Newspaper, the oldest black-owned publication in the country, and was a frequent contributor to Morgan State Radio at a historic HBCU. She has also produced two documentaries, including the feature-length film "The Friendliest Town." Although her reporting focuses on the criminal justice system and government accountability, she has provided on the ground coverage of presidential primaries and elections as well as local and state campaigns. Follow her on Twitter.

Stephen Janis

Host & Producer
Stephen Janis is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker. His first feature film, The Friendliest Town was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and won an award of distinction from The Impact Doc Film Festival, and a humanitarian award from The Indie Film Fest. He is the co-host and creator of The Police Accountability Report on The Real News Network, which has received more than 10,000,000 views on YouTube. His work as a reporter has been featured on a variety of national shows including the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery Channel, Relentless on NBC, and Sins of the City on TV One.

He has co-authored several books on policing, corruption, and the root causes of violence including Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths about Policing in Baltimore and Beyond. He is also the co-host of the true crime podcast Land of the Unsolved. Prior to joining The Real News, Janis won three Capital Emmys for investigative series working as an investigative producer for WBFF. Follow him on Twitter.