City of Loveland Co. Agrees to $3 Million Settlement Over Violent Arrest of 73-year-old With Dementia

“This settlement brings a measure of justice to the Garner family, but it does not deliver full justice,” the family’s attorney, Sarah Schielke, said during a news conference Wednesday. “Full justice to Karen Garner and this community will happen at the moment that every individual who participated in this atrocity and who fostered the conditions and culture that made its happening possible is held accountable.”

In June 2020, Karen Garner had started to walk out of a Walmart store in Loveland without paying for her items when she was stopped by employees, who took the items back. Employees still called Loveland police and Officer Austin Hopp confronted Garner as she was walking home, throwing the woman to the ground. Hopp broke Garner’s arm and dislocated her shoulder during the arrest, according to the lawsuit.

Video shows Hopp, Officer Daria Jalali and Officer Tyler Blackett later laughing about the arrest as Garner sat in a nearby cell. They rewatched the body camera footage and Hopp asked, “Ready for the pop?” Schielke said it was the sound of Hopp dislocating Garner’s shoulder.

“Ready for the pop?” Officer Hopp said to Officer Jalali and another officers while they gathered round to watch the footage of the violent arrest. “What popped?” another officer asked. “I think it was her shoulder,” Hopp replied. These comments and the pop may be heard at 48:30 in the below video.

The Denver Post

Arresting Officer Hopp said: 

“The suspect was asked several times if she wanted medical attention and she either would not answer or start talking about something else and never asked for medical attention,” he wrote. “Once at LCJ the suspect complained of shoulder pain and the jail nurse determined she had a possible shoulder injury. It’s unknown when the shoulder injury was caused due to the length of her struggle against officers as well as her continuously try to escape her restraints in booking.” He was lying.

LOVELAND, CO – April 14, 2021: A photo of Karen Garner’s arm after being arrested by the Loveland Police Department June 26, 2020. Garner was arrested by officer Austin Hopp who was assisted by Daria Jalali while she was walking home from Walmart, where she allegedly had left the store without paying for her items. Store employees got her back inside and took the items, but would not let Garner pay for them. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Shielke and the Life and Liberty Law Office)

Sarah Schielke, the attorney representing Karen Garner and her family said:

“in a previous release that included video footage from the LPD that  during the first hour Garner was in custody, she could be heard saying “they hurt my shoulders” 22 times, “they hurt my wrists” 13 times, “they keep hurting” eight times and “it hurts” eight times. Garner was allegedly not given any medical treatment while at the Loveland police station.”

Loveland Reporter-Herald

On Tuesday September 7, Loveland Police Department released a so called “Blue Team Report”.

The report said the force used on 80 pound, 73 year-old Karen Garner, was “minor”.

“I have reviewed all associated reports, photos and body worn camera video with this case in my review. I that this arrest and subsequent use of force was within policy and the minor force that was used was reasonable and appropriate for the situation. The Officers involved were not injured and the suspect received minor scrapes from being taken to the ground and cuffed. There was no damage to any city property during this arrest. I have attached Officer Hopp’s report and photos of the suspect were submitted with the Blue Team. This Blue Team is approved.”

The Blue Team report was approved by LPD Sergeant Philip Metzler, as well as several other high ranking members of the department.

FOX31

Three officers who were involved in the arrest of Karen Garner last year have resigned/fired from the Loveland Police Department. Austin Hopp, Daria Jalali and Tyler Blackett are no longer employed by LPD.

Hopp has been charged with second-degree assault in the arrest.

Daria Jalali was in a relationship with Hopp at the time of the arrest.

This is the fourth in a series about the police brutality that Karen Garner suffered at the hands of the Loveland Police Department. Read the first three here, here, and here.

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