Karen Garner passed away on Monday afternoon with her family by her side. Garner, who was the victim of police brutality in Loveland several years ago, died of complications from dementia. She was 76 years old.
Garner's family told CBS News Colorado's Dillon Thomas their beloved mother passed away in her sleep.
Garner made headlines in 2020 when she was arrested and injured by former Loveland Police officer Austin Hopp. Hopp was fired and arrested himself after evidence showed he failed to provide her medical care after breaking her arm, separating her shoulder and spraining her wrist during the arrest.
Garner's family provided the following statement:
On behalf of her three children and nine grandchildren, we want to thank each and every one of those you who fought for justice for her or just sent thoughts and prayers on her behalf.
Over the years, we've seen the tragedy of the Karen Garner case bring citizens of Loveland to call for justice and accountability in their community, including inspiring individuals to get more involved in their local government. The example of Rey Mendoza to always speak out against injustice, no matter the cost will always be remembered. City of Loveland and Larimer County representatives have personally told us that the case has served as a catalyst for change in responding and reporting procedures. We found that although social media can be a forum for negativity, it afforded us love and support from people around the world. Our hope is that these ripples continue.
Our family will be attending a parole hearing for Austin Hopp on January 9, 2024, to protest his release after only serving two and a half years of his five-year maximum sentence for the assault and reprehensible behavior towards Karen. At this time, we ask that Karen not be remembered as the "old lady who was beat up by a cop" but as a vibrant, creative woman who loved life and enjoyed the simplicity of taking a walk and picking wildflowers.
Always choose kindness first.
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