Police charge officers caught laughing at bodycam footage showing violent arrest of elderly woman with dementia

colorado
Source: Life and Liberty Law Office

May. 20 2021, Published 3:05 p.m. ET

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Two Colorado police officers caught on video laughing at bodycam footage showing the alleged violent arrest of an elderly woman with dementia now face criminal charges in connection with the case.

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On June 26, Loveland Police Department officer Austin Hopp is seen on video approaching Karen Garner, 73, as she walks along the road after leaving a Walmart. Garner allegedly stole $13.88 worth of merchandise and removed an employee’s face mask, CNN reported, citing a recently filed federal civil rights lawsuit. 

When Garner walked away from Hopp, he took her to the ground and handcuffed her arms behind her back. He is heard telling dispatch on body cam footage that “she is now tamed.”

Garner suffered several injuries in the arrest, including a broken humerus, dislocated shoulder and sprained wrist, the lawsuit states.

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“We are physically sickened,” Garner's family recently said in a statement obtained by CNN. “We are angry. Our hearts could not possibly ache any more. Once fiercely independent, happy, carefree and a great lover of the outdoors, she is now fearful, distrusting, reclusive.” 

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The lawsuit also includes footage showing Hopp and Jalali at the precinct laughing as they watch the arrest on a monitor.

At one point, Jalali asks “Can you stop it now?” and "I hate this" and appears to be uncomfortable, CNN reported.

Hopp, who was with the Loveland Police Department for one year, and three-year veteran Jalali are “no longer employed” with the department, Chief Robert Ticer said. 

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“I share the community's concerns on this,” Ticer noted of the bodycam footage. “It hurt to see that. I've been in law enforcement 32 years and what I saw in there hurt me personally.”

Hopp now faces charges of second-degree assault and attempting to influence a public servant, which are felonies, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor.

Jalali is facing multiple charges related to failing to report a use of force, failing to intervene and official misconduct, all misdemeanors. 

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