Former Colorado Cop Sentenced For Brutal Arrest of 73-Year-Old Woman
According to a report from the Washington Post, former Loveland Police Department officer Austin Hopp has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for the second-degree assault of Karen Garner, age 73.
Why Did Colorado Police Arrest Karen Garner?
Karen Garner is a mother and grandmother who suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia. Garner visited a Walmart in 2020 and was reported to have left the store without paying for a few items that totaled $13.88.
Walmart employees had reported the theft to the local police department but were able to retrieve the items from Garner after talking with her outside.
Garner was walking back home while collecting wildflowers when Hopp drove up alongside the senior woman.
Loveland Officer Encounters Garner
Hopp approaches Garner and within less than 20 seconds of first making contact, he already has her pinned to the ground.
Garner is visibly confused and repeatedly states that she is on her way home.
Despite already violently pushing Garner to the ground, Hopp continues to use excessive force while detaining Garner, going as far as to dislocate her arm, causing an audible snap.
At the time of Garner's arrest, she was a mere 80 pounds.
Loveland, Colorado Police Department Took Arrest As A Joke
Hopp receives backup during the arrest from Daria Jalali and the pair take Garner into custody.
Back at the station, it was all smiles and giggles as Hopp proudly showed the bodycam footage to others.
“Ready for the pop? Here comes the pop,” Hopp states to two fellow Loveland Police officers as they watch the moment that Garner's shoulder is fractured and dislocated.
Meanwhile, Garner was cuffed in a cell, frightened, confused, and in pain. Garner was not given medical care for 6 hours.
The On-Going Fight Against Police Brutality
Garner's family hired attorney, Sarah Schielke of The Life & Liberty Law Office to represent them and bring Hopp and the Loveland Police Department to justice.
They failed Karen Garner. They failed the community. And they did it all on camera. Do you realize how horrifying that is? That means they were used to getting away with it. That the comfortable norm in Loveland is one of zero accountability. That this is not just some ‘isolated incident.’ It is not just one single ‘problem.’ It is widespread, sociopathic criminality. And to attempt to shift the burden to Karen, or a bystander, or her family, or counsel, to report this? Shame on you, Loveland. You took an oath to protect and serve. This is a disgrace.
Hopp was ultimately offered a plea deal, something the Garners were very much against, and will serve 5 years in prison and 3 years on parole.
The Garner family has reported that Karen has never been the same since her encounter with Hopp and has since been diagnosed with PTSD. Garner's dementia has worsened and since she now requires around-the-clock care her family has moved her to a memory care facility.