Former officers charged after arrest of 73-year-old Colorado woman with dementia

U.S. and World

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Multiple charges have been filed against two Loveland, Colorado police officers for their involvement in the arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia that left her with a dislocated shoulder and fractured wrist, according to her attorney.

The charges were filed on Wednesday against Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali.

Hopp is facing multiple felony charges related to felony assault, attempting to influence a public servant and official misconduct.

Jalali is facing multiple misdemeanor charges related to peace officer failing to report use of force, peace officer failing to intervene and official misconduct.

“It’s really in one sense remarkable, and in another sense starting to become a trend,” said KDVR legal analyst Chris Decker. “This is police accountability. This is what it looks like. It doesn’t mean these officers are guilty, it just means that we are at a place now that we are taking more close scrutiny at police behavior and violence.”

New details from the affidavit’s for Hopp and Jalali’s arrest indicate that police were called to Walmart because Garner had tried to take items from the store but left without them after being confronted by an employee. The call did not indicate that she had been violent, according to the affidavit.

Additionally, while being held in a cell at the Loveland Police Department, Garner said that her shoulder hurt multiple times but was not offered medical help until she was taken to the jail and a nurse looked at her injuries.

Hopp, who arrested Garner, and Jalali who was also on the scene, both resigned from the police department last month.

The affidavit says that, “Karen Garner’s behavior, including her appearance, her verbal interactions and repetition of phrases, among other factors, indicated an obvious deficiency in Garner’s comprehension of her surroundings and reasonably elevated the need for Officer Hopp and Officer Jalali to engage in less aggressive and forceful methods to effectuate her arrest once it was decided an arrest would occur.”

It goes on to say “Officer Hopp’s use of force against Garner, assisted by Officer Jalali, while on and near the hood of the patrol vehicle was not only unreasonable and unnecessary, but also was the likely cause of her should and arm injury….”

Also in the affidavit, Hopp’s acknowledgement when reviewing body cam footage that he heard a pop indicated that he used excessive force and therefore committed assault. Because Jalali watched Hopp’s body cam footage at the station and did not report what she saw she is being charged with failure to report excessive force.

The charges show an incident date of April 15, which was the date Garner’s attorney filed a lawsuit against the Loveland Police Department.

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