3 Colorado police officers resign after rough arrest of 73-year-old woman with dementia
Three police officers involved in the rough arrest of a 73-year-old Colorado woman with dementia have resigned, officials said Friday. Loveland Officers Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali and Community Services Officer Tyler Blackett were all on administrative leave before Chief Robert Ticer announced their departures from the police department during a press conference.
During the press conference, Ticer didn't specify whether the officers resigned or were fired. Department spokesman Tom Hacker later confirmed they had resigned.
Hopp arrested Karen Garner in June 2020 after she allegedly left a store without paying for about $14 worth of items. Garner filed a federal lawsuit this month saying Hopp dislocated her shoulder when she was arrested and that she did not receive medical care for about six hours after being taken to the county jail.
"Our goal at the Loveland Police Department has always been to make our community proud," Ticer told reporters Friday. "We failed, and we are very sorry for that."
A team of outside law enforcement agencies is conducting a criminal investigation into the arrest at the district attorney's request. Ticer said there will be an internal affairs investigation handled by the city's human resources director.
Surveillance video from a police station released Monday by Garner's lawyer shows Hopp, Jalali and Blackett watching Hopp's body camera footage as Garner is handcuffed to a bench in a holding cell a few feet away.
As the officers watched the bodycam footage that showed Hopp holding Garner against a patrol car, Hopp said, "Ready for the pop?" suggesting he was aware that he had injured her.
"What you saw in the video, not the Loveland Police Department," Ticer said Friday in reaction to the surveillance video.
The body camera footage can be heard but not seen on the police station video. Viewed separately, the body camera footage shows Hopp holding the handcuffed Garner facing away from him against the car.
When she tried to turn around and said, as she did repeatedly, that she was trying to go home, he pushed her back against the car and moved her bent left arm up near her head, holding it, saying, "Are you finished? Are you finished? We don't play this game."
About 30 seconds later, Garner began to slump toward the ground. Jalali, who recently arrived, said, "Stand up! We're not going to hold you."
"It hurt to see that," Ticer said Friday in reaction to the bodycam video. "I've been in law enforcement 32 years, and what I saw in there hurt me personally."
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