Police Broke This 73-Year-Old Woman’s Arm During a Brutal Arrest. The City Will Pay Her $3 Million.
The city of Loveland, Colorado, has agreed to pay $3 million to an elderly woman who was violently arrested by police last year.
Loveland Police Department (LPD) Officer Austin Hopp threw 73-year-old Karen Garner to the ground in June of 2020, fracturing her arm and dislocating her shoulder after she allegedly stole $13.88 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart, according to a federal lawsuit. Garner, who suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia, was picking wildflowers on her walk home when Hopp approached her. The latter ailment is a result of brain damage and makes it difficult for those like Garner to communicate and process what others are saying.
“The settlement with Karen Garner will help bring some closure to an unfortunate event in our community but does not upend the work we have left to do. We extend a deep and heartfelt apology to Karen Garner and her family for what they have endured as a result of this arrest,” Loveland City Manager Steve Adams said in a statement. “We know we did not act in a manner that upholds the values, integrity, and policies of the City and police department, and we are taking the necessary steps to make sure these actions are never repeated.”
Body camera footage shows Hopp moving Garner to a squad car, pressing her down on the hood while forcibly pushing her contorted left arm—which was handcuffed behind her back—above her head. “We don’t play this game,” he says on the body camera footage. “You understand me?” You hear a pop, and she screams.
Hopp is now facing criminal charges, including second-degree assault. Former Officer Daria Jalali was charged with three misdemeanors: failure to report excessive use of force, failure to intervene in the use of excessive force, and first-degree official misconduct. Both officers resigned in April.
Additional video shows three cops—Hopp, Jalia, and Tyler Blackett—watching the footage the day they booked Garner.
“Ready for the pop?” asks Hopp, as Jalia squirms and appears visibly uncomfortable. “Hear the pop?”
“What’d you pop?” asks Blackett. “I think it was her shoulder,” responds Hopp, as he re-enacts the motion.
“I hate it,” says Jalia.
“I love it,” o
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