Two former Colorado police officers have been criminally charged in connection with the arrest of a 73-year-old dementia patient last year, which landed the elderly woman in a hospital.
The woman, Karen Garner, had left a Walmart without paying for $13.88 worth of items, and the former members of the Loveland Police Department were later seen on surveillance footage laughing and joking about the incident.
What are the details?
Ex-cops Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali, the first two officers to arrive on scene in the June 2020 incident, both face multiple charges, according to The New York Daily News.
Hopp has been charged with two felonies, second-degree assault and attempt to influence a public servant, and a misdemeanor charge of first-degree official misconduct. Jalali has been charged with three misdemeanors: failure to perform the duty to report excessive use of force, failure to perform the duty to intervene in excessive use of force, and first-degree official misconduct.
Hopp was the arresting officer and first to arrive, finding Garner in a field picking flowers. Body camera footage shows him throwing Garner to the ground to handcuff her. Jalali arrived on the scene later, and video shows Garner being thrown against a patrol vehicle as officers push her left arm behind her back and up near her head.
Witnesses were also seen stopping to protest the officers’ roughness with the elderly Garner, but officers dismissed their concerns.
Last month, video was released by the Garner family’s attorney showing Hopp and Jalali laughing and joking about Garner’s arrest as they held her detained in a cell at the station. Hopp could be heard telling his colleagues, “Ready for the pop? Listen to the pop,” while watching video of Garner’s arrest.
“What did you pop?” one officer asks Hopp, who replies, “I think it was her shoulder.”
Officer Dalali can be seen laughing along with other officers at some points in the surveillance video, but eventually asks, “Can you stop it now?” covering her head while the bodycam footage plays.
She also states, “I hate this,” before Hopp says, “I love it.”
Dalali can also be seen checking in on Garner in her cell.
Both Hopp, Jalali, and a third officer were gone from the department soon after the surveillance video was released, Police Chief Robert Ticer announced.
According to a lawsuit against the department filed by Garner’s family, the dementia patient did not receive medical assistance for six hours after the violent arrest, and was later found to have suffered a dislocated shoulder, a sprained wrist and a broken arm stemming from the incident.
She has also been moved from her home into an assisted care facility, which family members say was due to her dementia being exacerbated by the trauma she experienced during the arrest.