crime and punishment

Loveland, Colorado cops Austin Hopp, Daria Jalali laughed at dementia-stricken woman Karen Garner’s arrest?

Karen Garner (©Loveland Police Department)
Karen Garner (©Loveland Police Department)

Karen Garner, 73, of Loveland, Larimer County, Colorado, United States is suffering from dementia and is living in a memory care facility. She was arrested by Loveland Police Department officers Austin Scott Hopp, 26, and Daria Jalali, 27, on June 26, 2020.

On behalf of Garner, Sarah Schielke of The Life and Liberty Law Office filed an excessive force lawsuit on April 14, 2021. On April 26, 2021, the lawyer released a video from inside the booking area of the Loveland Police Department after Garner’s arrest.

The video shows Hopp and Jalali watching back the body camera video. The two cops can be seen laughing and making comments about Garner’s arrest.

“Did you hear the pop?” Hopp asked Jalali. “I was pushing, pushing, pushing. I hear, ‘Pop.’ I was like, ‘Oh no. That’s going to turn into something.'”

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Garner was accused of leaving a Walmart on Denver Avenue in Loveland without paying for the items she took that were worth $13.88 so the store called police. She looked confused when Hopp stopped her while she was walking home.

Hopp handcuffed Garner and took her to the patrol car. Jalali later arrived on the scene.

Jalali held Garner while Hopp continued pushing painfully upward on the dementia-stricken arrestee’s left arm, which was already restrained. Their supervising officer Sergeant Phil Metzler, 51, also arrived and approved of the arrest.

On April 15, 2021, the Loveland Police Department announced that Hopp has been placed on administrative leave while Jalali and Metzler have been reassigned to administrative duties. In a statement obtained by The Denver Channel on the same day, a Walmart spokesperson claimed that when they addressed the issue with Garner, she “became unreasonable and escalated the situation by ripping the facemask off one of our associates and fleeing the store.”

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The World Health Organization defines dementia as a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities. The syndrome is not a normal part of ageing although it mainly affects older people, according to the WHO.

Galit L. Dunietz, Ronald D. Chervin, James F. Burke, Alan S. Conceicao and Tiffany J. Braley recently conducted a study about obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment and dementia risk in older adults. The study findings, which were published in Sleep, revealed that treating OSA through positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy may also reduce risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer disease (AD) in older adults.

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