Sarah Schielke: Shining a Light on Police Misconduct and Injustice in Colorado


Sarah Schielke, a prominent civil rights attorney and the driving force behind the Life and Liberty Law Office in Colorado, has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of those who have been wronged by law enforcement. Her relentless pursuit of justice has led to significant settlements for her clients and prompted policy changes within police departments across the state.

Schielke’s journey to becoming a renowned civil rights attorney began with her education at Middlebury College, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology, graduating magna cum laude. She then studied law at Boston University School of Law on a full academic merit scholarship, serving as the Managing Editor of the Boston University Law Review.

After moving to Colorado, Schielke faced initial challenges in establishing her legal career. Undaunted, she posted an ad on Craigslist offering discount legal services to gain experience. This bold move laid the groundwork for her future success as a civil rights attorney.

One of Schielke’s most high-profile cases involved Karen Garner, a woman with dementia who was violently arrested by Loveland police officers in 2020. Schielke’s strategic decision to release the body camera footage to the public brought national attention to the case, ultimately leading to criminal charges against the officers involved and a $3 million settlement for the Garner family.

Schielke’s success in the Garner case is just one example of her tireless efforts to hold law enforcement accountable. In another notable case, she represented Harris Elias, who was wrongfully arrested for DUI by the Loveland Police Department despite negative breathalyzer and blood tests. Schielke’s investigation uncovered a disturbing pattern of officers prioritizing DUI arrest numbers over individual rights. The case was settled for $400,000, a significant sum for a wrongful arrest case with no physical injuries or jail time.

Schielke’s commitment to justice extends beyond wrongful arrests. In the case of Michael Clark, who Idaho Springs police officers brutally tased in his own home, Schielke secured a record-breaking $7 million settlement. This victory provided justice for her client and sent a powerful message about the consequences of police misconduct.

Schielke has faced numerous challenges throughout her career, but her unwavering dedication to exposing injustice has driven her to overcome adversity. She credits her success to her constant pursuit of knowledge and the support of her husband, a stay-at-home dad to their three children.

Schielke’s impact on the civil rights landscape in Colorado has not gone unnoticed. In 2023, she was named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year, recognizing her as a champion of change in her field. Her new office building, funded by the settlements she has won against police departments, is a testament to her commitment to her clients and her relentless pursuit of justice.

As Schielke continues to take on challenging cases and expose police misconduct, her influence on the legal community in Colorado grows. Her unique background in psychology and her passion for civil rights law have made her a formidable force in the fight against injustice.

Sarah Schielke’s story inspires those who seek to create a more just and equitable society. Her unwavering commitment to holding law enforcement accountable and securing justice for her clients has impacted Colorado’s civil rights landscape. As she continues to fight for what is right, Schielke’s legacy will undoubtedly endure, inspiring future generations to stand up against injustice and fight for the rights of all.

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