City of Loveland Announces Independent Review of a 2020 Arrest

North Forty News file photo.

Loveland City Manager Steve Adams recently announced that an independent review will be initiated of a Loveland Police Department (LPD) incident dating back to June 19, 2020. The City has selected Jensen Hughes, a national law enforcement and public safety consulting firm. The firm also conducted an independent assessment of LPD in 2021.

At the time of the incident, LPD officers were conducting a statutorily mandated arrest under Colorado law. The independent review will look at all police actions related to this incident.

More than a month ago, an attorney representing the family involved in the incident made a request to the city to settle alleged claims related to this case and provided the city with a four-day time frame to pay the amount requested, and if not, a video prepared by the attorney would be released for public viewing. The city did not pay the demanded amount and the attorney subsequently released an edited version of the body-camera video to the public.

“The incidents were initially reviewed and deemed appropriate at the time of the event, but the city is taking a second outside look at the incident in our efforts to ensure we are policing in a respectful and proper manner,” said Adams. “As we move forward on our accountability efforts launched in 2021, best practices in law enforcement will be maintained and we are committed to accountability if those standards are not upheld.”

The City of Loveland is also releasing officer-worn body-camera footage from the arrest. While the attorney for the family is at liberty to release footage of the incident due to their representation of the parties, the city and LPD are legally precluded from making certain sections of the video public. Video released today by the city includes:

  • Footage of the incident from former LPD Officer Sychla showing his interaction with the father.
  • Footage showing former LPD Officer Sychla talking to the father after the incident. Officer Sychla explains his reasoning for using force, explaining that he wasn’t sure what the father’s intentions were.

“I appreciate the difficult, challenging, and often dangerous roles that LPD officers undertake to keep our community safe and I want to express my gratitude to the men and women of LPD for taking on this important work and for continuing in our larger efforts to improve community policing to best serve our community,” said Adams.

Findings from the review will be made public when the investigation is completed.

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