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$3M Settlement Reached In Karen Garner Lawsuit Over Rough Arrest In Loveland

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) - The City of Loveland has agreed to pay $3 million to the family of Karen Garner, a woman living with dementia who was forcefully arrested and injured by a former Loveland police officer. Sarah Schielke, the attorney representing Garner and her family, announced the settlement Wednesday morning.

karen garner arrest in loveland
(credit: The Life & Liberty Law Office)

The Garner family filed suit in 2021, accusing the Loveland Police Department of violating Garner's civil rights in 2020. Garner was arrested after allegedly attempting to steal $14 worth of merchandise from a local Walmart.

Former Loveland Police officer Austin Hopp was first to respond to the report.

In body camera footage he is seen ordering Garner to stop. Garner briefly complies, but appears to be confused. She then continues to walk.

Hopp, after ordering her to stop again, grabs Garner and forcefully takes her to the ground. During the altercation Garner continuously told Hopp she was just trying to go home.

At one point Hopp is seen lifting and shoving Garner's arm, though she is already in handcuffs. A pop can be heard, as are screams of pain from Garner.

As former officer Daria Jalali stood by and watched, Hopp then forcefully took Garner to the ground again.

Later, at the police holding facility, Hopp and Jalali are heard on security footage joking about the situation.

Garner told the officers she was injured multiple times, and Hopp is heard joking about the moment he felt her arm pop.

However, Garner sat without medical attention in her cell for hours.

Medical professionals later determined she had a separated shoulder, sprained wrist and broken arm.

Loveland police ultimately deemed the force used in the situation was proper in an internal investigation.

It wasn't until Schielke and the Garner Family filed suit that action was taken against the officers involved.

Hopp was ultimately fired, and charged with assault in the case. Jalali was also fired and cited with charges related to failing to intervene.

Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer told CBS4's Dillon Thomas he supported the charges against his former officers and applauded the district attorney's decision to prosecute. Ticer said he had never seen the videos connected to the incident until the lawsuit was filed.

However, Schielke learned officers, sergeants, lieutenants and even assistant police chiefs did review the videos and all signed off on the use of force as necessary and reasonable.


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