Two Officers Charged After Tackling Grandma With Dementia Who Was Picking Flowers
Two officers have been charged after an elderly woman with dementia sustained injuries during a violent arrest.
The ordeal took place in June 2020, which saw 73-year-old Karen Garner wrestled to the ground by Loveland police officer Austin Hopp.
Police had been called to the scene after Garner was suspected of taking less than $14-worth of items from a nearby Walmart when she became separated from her family and walked out of the store.
Hopp’s bodycam footage showed the moment he forcefully arrested the elderly woman, leaving her with a dislocated shoulder, a fractured elbow and a sprained wrist.
Despite the fact she was badly injured, Garner didn’t receive medical attention until six hours after she had been taken into custody.
Her family later filed a lawsuit against the two officers involved in her arrest: Hopp and Daria Jalali, a fellow police officer who attended the scene after Garner had been handcuffed.
Both Hopp and Jalali left the police force at the start of the month, and have now been charged. Hopp has been charged with second-degree assault and attempts to influence a public servant in addition to official misconduct and a misdemeanour, while Jalali has been charged with failing to report a use of force, failing to intervene and official misconduct, The Denver Post reports.
District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said at a news conference yesterday, May 19:
While police officers are permitted to use reasonable force to effect an arrest, the investigation, in this case, showed that Austin Hopp used excessive force in the arrest of Ms Garner that resulted in serious bodily injury to Ms Garner.
Further, the investigation showed that Daria Jalali, having witnessed that excessive force, failed to live up to her duties under the law and as a sworn peace officer to either intervene or report that conduct.
A third officer, Tyler Blackett, also left the force at the same time as Hopp and Jalali. It’s thought Blackett was one of the officers caught on CCTV laughing at Hopp’s bodycam footage of his altercation with Garner.
Police chief Robert Ticer later apologised for the officers’ behaviour seen in the CCTV footage, as well as for the distressing footage taken on Hopp’s bodycam.
He said, ‘Our goal at the Loveland Police Department has always been to make our community proud. We failed and we are very sorry for that,’ The Guardian reports.
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