Ex-cop gets 5 years for grossly arresting woman with dementia

DENVER – A former Colorado police officer who was shown on body camera video roughly arresting a 73-year-old woman with dementia and later joked about it with colleagues was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.

Austin Hopp arrested Karen Garner in 2020 after she left a store in Loveland, about 50 miles north of Denver, without paying for about $14 worth of items. Police camera video shows that after she turned away from him, he grabbed her arm and pushed her to the ground, still holding the wildflowers she had picked as she walked through a field.

Hopp had been behind bars on probation for up to eight years after pleading guilty to second-degree assault in March under a deal with prosecutors that Garner’s family protested. He faced a mandatory prison sentence of between 10 and 32 years on an original, more serious charge of assault.

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Footage shows that when Hopp pushed Garner against the hood of his car, she tried to turn around and repeated that she was trying to go home. He then pushed her back against the car and moved her bent left arm near her head, held it and said, “Are you done? Are you ready? We don’t play that game.”

A federal lawsuit that Garner filed alleges that he dislocated her shoulder. The city settled the lawsuit for $3 million, money her family said will pay for the around-the-clock care she needed after her condition worsened following her arrest.

Police station surveillance video released by Garner’s attorney showed Hopp and others talking about the arrest, sometimes laughing or joking, while viewing body camera footage of Garner in a nearby holding cell. At one point, Hopp prompted the others to listen to the “pop” during the portion of the footage when Garner’s shoulder was allegedly dislocated.

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https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/05/05/ex-cop-gets-5-years-for-rough-arrest-of-woman-with-dementia/ Ex-cop gets 5 years for grossly arresting woman with dementia

Justin Scacco

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