Austin Scott Hopp, 26, Daria Jalali, 27, and Tyler Blackett, 25, are no longer employed with the Loveland Police Department in Loveland, Larimer County, Colorado, United States. The announcement was made by the department’s chief Robert Ticer on April 30, 2021.
On June 26, 2020, Hopp and Jalali arrested Karen Garner, 73, of Loveland, who is suffering from dementia. 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.
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.
As seen in the video, Hopp and Jalali were laughing and making comments about Garner’s arrest while watching back the body camera video. Prior to this, their supervising officer Sergeant Phil Metzler, 51, approved of the arrest.
A sound engineer hired by Garner’s family enhanced audio on booking area surveillance tapes from the Loveland Police Department recorded on the day of her arrest. The videos reveal that Blackett and Loveland Police Department’s Sergeant Antolina Hill were both aware of Garner’s injuries and the arrestee’s need for medical treatment at that time.
Because of the arrest, Garner suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured arm and sprained wrist. Blackett and Hill are accused of being personally complicit in the continued denial of the critical care that Garner needed after the arrest.
Hopp, Jalali and Blackett were initially placed on administrative leave while Metzler and Hill were reassigned. Schielke told NBC News that it was unacceptable that Metzler and Hill remain with the Loveland Police Department.
“They were not fired,” Schielke said of Hopp, Jalali and Blackett. “They resigned.”
However, Ticer refused to specify whether Hopp, Jalali and Blackett resigned or were terminated. The Loveland Police Department chief also did not explain why Metzler and Hill are still with the department.