Two Colorado cops violently arrested a 73-year-old woman who has dementia—then were caught on camera celebrating and laughing when they reviewed their horrific body-cam footage hours later at the police station.
The two officers have been identified as Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali of the Loveland Police Department. They arrested 73-year-old Karen Garner on June 26, 2020, after she left a Walmart with $13 of goods that she hadn’t paid for. Garner’s family says she forgot to pay because of her condition.
According to the Denver Post, Hopp found Garner walking home after Walmart staff had reported her. Body-cam footage released this month showed Hopp tackling the terrified woman to the ground when she refused to stop walking away from him, then handcuffing her and pushing her hard against his cruiser. A concerned citizen can be seen stopping by the side of the road to ask Hopp if so much force was necessary.
The cops fractured the woman’s arm and dislocated her shoulder during the arrest, her family has said, and it’s this horrific body-cam footage that the officers were caught on surveillance camera watching as Garner sat in a nearby cell for hours after her ordeal at the hands of the police.
“Ready for the pop?” Hopp said to Jalali and other officers while they gathered to watch the footage of the violent arrest. “What popped?” another officer asked. “I think it was her shoulder,” Hopp replied. These comments can be heard at 48:30 in the below video.
Hopp can be heard saying, “I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground,” while Jalali comments: “It’s like live TV... Body-cams are my favorite thing to watch, I could watch livestream body-cams all day.” The third officer can be heard suggesting “The Body-Cam Show” as a title for a proposed television special, and says to Hopp, “Impressive, buddy.”
After releasing the video on YouTube, Garner’s attorney, Sarah Schielke, said in a statement, “This is utterly disgusting. These videos cannot be unseen or unheard. I am sorry to have to share them with the public. This will be traumatic and deeply upsetting for everyone to see.”
“But as it often goes with bad police departments, it seems this is the only way to make them change,” the attorney went on. “They have to be exposed. If I didn’t release this, the Loveland Police’s toxic culture of arrogance and entitlement, along with their horrific abuse of the vulnerable and powerless, would carry on, business as usual.”
Garner’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the police officers earlier in April. Schielke said Monday that two more officers have been added as defendants in the suit, alleging they knew that Garner was hurt but didn’t give her medical care for six hours while she was in custody.
The Loveland Police Department has placed Hopp on administrative leave and re-assigned Jalali to desk duties while an internal investigation continues. Garner’s attorney said that, to date, her client has received no apology from the officers, the police department, or the city.
The police department is yet to comment on the new video.