WARNING: DISTURBING VIDEO BELOW
Excessive Force Used on 73-year old Woman with Dementia
(CO) – A sickening video of police brutality has just surfaced. In June of last year, 73-year old Karen Garner attempted to leave a Walmart without paying for items. Mrs. Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia. It’s very common for people with dementia to forget things. The items were returned to store employees and Mrs. Garner left. Regardless, the police were called.
In the original body cam video you see Officers Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali, with the Loveland Police Department, approach Mrs. Garner who had been picking wildflowers and is walking along the side of the road. Mrs. Garner stops when the officers speak to her. She’s smiling as she clutches a handful of flowers, but you can see she looks confused.
Officer Hopp grabs Mrs. Garner and throws her to the ground. He handcuffed and hogtied the 80 pound woman. Hopp is so violent that Mrs. Garner ended up with a dislocated shoulder, a fractured arm, a bloody nose, and bruises covering her body.
Police Station Video Released
The video of what happened at the police station, after the arrest of Mrs. Garner, has just been released. Both Hopp and Jalali are watching the body camera footage and celebrating their actions with a fist bump. During this time, Mrs. Garner is sitting in a holding cell, crying and in pain, just a few feet away.
This is the video that let’s us know Officer Hopp knew he had hurt Mrs. Garner. By this point they have been joined by another officer, Tyler Blackett. Hopp says, “Ready for the pop?” At another point, Hopp says, “I was pushing, pushing, pushing. I hear — pop. I was like ‘oh no.’” Yet knowing this, none of the officers attempt to get medical assistance for Mrs. Garner. Hopp also talks about how “he was ‘proud’ and ‘super excited’ to use his hobble.” Lastly, Hopp mentions that “he is a little worried that Garner is ‘like senile and stuff.'”
And for the nail in the coffin, Officer Blackett says he knows it’s a stupid question but did they read Mrs. Garner her Miranda rights? “Hopp admits he didn’t read the woman her Miranda rights.”
Mrs. Garner was turned over to the jail. The jail personnel stated they were never informed she was injured. It was approximately six hours before Mrs. Garner received medical care for her injuries.
Civil Rights Attorney Files Excessive Force Lawsuit
Civil rights attorneys seem to be the ones who will help us get police accountability. The Loveland Police Department originally signed off on the report by Hopp and Jalali. They also claimed they didn’t know Mrs. Garner had been injured even though Sgt. Metzler asks about the blood while at the scene and is informed that it is from Mrs. Garner. Loveland P.D. was forced to look into the incident after the civil rights lawsuit was filed, but even then, they refused to release the names of the officers.
The information we have is because they had to give it to the civil rights attorney and she released it. Attorney Sarah Schielke has filed the civil lawsuit based on violation of civil rights and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
D.A.’s Office to Decide if there should be a Criminal Investigation
The 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office indicated that the case against Mrs. Garner had been dismissed under the previous administration and that the current administration had not seen the details yet.
Acccording to TheDenverChannel.com,
“Our office is committed to fair and professional reviews of alleged excessive use of force. After further review, the District Attorney’s Office will consider whether an independent criminal investigation is warranted,” the DA’s office said in a statement.
Officer Hopp has been placed on administrative leave. Both Officer Jalali and Sgt. Metzler, the supervisor who signed off on the incident, were placed on administrative duty. Mrs. Garner had to be put in a memory care facility and the previous happy, flower-picking person is now fearful and sad. According to the family’s attorney, “Garner lost most functional use of her left arm and requires assistance to shower and get dressed as a result of the injuries she sustained during the arrest.”