Two former Colorado police officers who brutalized a 73-year-old woman with dementia during a June 26 arrest have been criminally charged, NBC News reports.
Austin Hopp was charged with assault causing serious bodily injury, official misconduct and attempt to influence a public servant. Daria Jalali was charged with failure to report use of force, failure to intervene and official misconduct.
A federal lawsuit says the victim, Karen Garner, suffered a dislocated shoulder, a fractured arm and a sprained wrist after she was slammed to the ground and hogtied. The incident was captured on body cam video and went viral after it was made public.
From NBC News:
Garner was walking home when she was stopped by Hopp on suspicion of stealing $13.88 worth of items from a Walmart, her attorney has said.
Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to verbally communicate with people or understand others’ communications, Schielke has said.
The body camera video shows Hopp asking Garner to stop. She shrugs and keeps walking before Hopp takes her to the ground.
Jalali arrives, and video shows them struggling with Garner before Hopp hogties her and forces her into the back of a police car.
Additional footage that was released shows Hopp, Jalali, and a third officer, Tyler Blackett, back at the Loveland Police station watching the video of the arrest and laughing at it.
“Ready for the pop?” Hopp said, referring to moment when Garner’s shoulder was injured. “Hear the pop?”
Blackett then asked Hopp what he was referring to, and Hopp replied, “I think it was her shoulder.” Hopp and Blackett can later be seen exchanging a fist bump.
Members of Garner’s family spoke out and said they were disappointed there weren’t more charges against the former officers.
“This isn’t just only affecting my mom and my family, it’s also affecting this whole city of Loveland,” Allisa Schwartz, Karen’s daughter, said tearfully at a press conference.
“I feel like these are pretty minimal crimes that they put against them, and there’s a whole list of charges they could have put against these officers” Schwartz said.
“It feels like they are hiding behind this department,” she continued. “I feel like they think they are above the law and they’re the ones that are supposed to be protecting all of us.”
“The first eight seconds of the video that you watched before Hopp took her down is Karen Garner,” said Shannon Steward, Karen’s daughter-in-law. “She is walking, she is happy, she is smiling. We haven’t seen that since. She doesn’t smile since then.”
“How is it that just six criminal charges against just two officers is the result, while everybody else at the Loveland Police Department, namely the Chief of Police Robert Ticer and the on-scene supervisor Sgt. Metzler remain employed?” asked their lawyer, Sara Schielke.
[This article has been updated]