Loveland, Colorado — Two Colorado police officers have now been charged following the violent arrest of an elderly woman who has dementia with aphasia. She is 5-feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.
The Charges were filed on May 21, 2021, following a federal lawsuit filed by the 73-year-old victim.
During victim Karen Garner’s arrest, one of the officers, identified as Austin Hopp, 26, dislocated and fractured Garner’s shoulder.
Hopp’s partner, Daria Jalali, 27, was also arrested because she failed to stop Hopp and did not inform her supervisor about the violent arrest even after a civilian witnessed the encounter.
Hopp and Jalali were later caught on camera fist-bumping while reviewing the bodycam footage of the arrest.
Hopp was charged with two felonies — Second-degree Assault of an at-risk adult and Attempting to Influence a Public Servant. Additionally, Hopp faces a misdemeanor charge of Official Misconduct.
Jalali faces charges of Official Misconduct -Failure to Report Excessive Use of Force and Failure to Intervene in the Use of Excessive Force.
Tyler Blackett, former civilian community services officer for the department, eluded charges.
However, along with Hopp and Jalali, Blackett resigned.
The incident occurred on June 26, 2020, after Wal-Mart employees called the Loveland Police Department to say that they suspected Garner of shoplifting.
When Hopp arrived and Garner would not follow his commands he became aggressive with her and slammed her to the ground like a ragdoll.
Prosecutors say Garner does not have the capability to understand or express speech.
“The video is despicable and the actions of those officers were completely uncalled for,” said prosecutors. “Any reasonable person with half a brain could tell that the elderly woman was having some sort of health crisis.”
Larimer County District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said, “I was immediately concerned with what I saw. Austin Hopp used excessive force in the arrest of Ms. Garner. Daria Jalali, having witnessed that excessive force, failed to live up to her duties under the law.”
Garner’s attorney, Sarah Schielke, who was hired by the family, has accused the entire Loveland Police Department of corruption.
Schielke said the Chief is only cooperating with the investigation because his department got caught. She said that many officers watched the video and knew about the violence against Garner, but they did nothing about it.
“They are all as guilty as Hopp.”
Prosecutors said this should be a lesson to other officers who stand idly by and watch another officer commit a crime.
Officials said neither officer showed any remorse and Jalali laughed and smiled during the booking process. At one point during the investigation, Jalali was also described as evil.
Officials said that Wal-Mart employees were also seen laughing on the day of the incident.