Cops Who Fist-Bumped While Watching Video of Themselves Injuring Woman with Dementia Are Charged
Loveland Police Chief Bob Ticer said Wednesday he supports the filing of charges against his former officers
Two former police officers are facing criminal charges in Colorado stemming from the violent June 26, 2020, arrest of a 73-year-old woman who suffers from dementia.
Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali both resigned on April 30 after body camera footage surfaced showing the forceful detention of Karen Garner last summer.
Garner has filed a civil complaint against Hopp, Jalali and a third officer, claiming they violated her rights during the arrest. The complaint further claims that Garner sustained contusions and a bloody nose, and that the officers dislocated and fractured her shoulder as they twisted her into submission.
In addition, surveillance footage from inside the Loveland police station seems to show Hopp, Jalali and former community service officer Tyler Blackett — who is also named in the complaint — reviewing and commenting on Hopp's body cam footage.
Hopp on Wednesday was charged with two felonies: second-degree assault of an at-risk adult and attempt to influence a public servant. According to the latter charge, Hopp allegedly failed to report the seriousness of Garner's injuries to his superiors.
Hopp was also charged with misdemeanor first-degree official misconduct.
Jalali was charged with failure to report excessive use of force, failure to intervene in the use of excessive force and first-degree official misconduct — all misdemeanors.
Blackett, who also resigned April 30, was not charged.
Garner was detained by Loveland Police after store employees saw her walking out of a Walmart with $13 worth of items she hadn't paid for.
The first officer who arrived on scene allegedly grabbed Garner as she was walking away from him. As she was wrestled to the ground, Garner said, "I'm going home" — a phrase she repeated 38 times during her detention.
With Garner handcuffed to a bench in a jail cell 10 feet away from them, the three officers watched Hopp's body camera video back at the station house. They allegedly were "joking about the excessive force" and laughing about injuring her, according to the complaint.
The surveillance footage allegedly also shows them watching film of themselves intimidating a private citizen who stopped to complain while witnessing the arrest — and then allegedly "fist-bumping" to celebrate that they had done so, states the complaint.
At one point, Hopp allegedly prepares the other two officers watching for the moment Garner's shoulder's dislocated, saying, "Ready for the pop? Here comes the pop."
As Jalali covers her eyes, upset by the footage, she repeats, "I hate it." Hopp allegedly replies, "I love it."
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Garner remained in the cell, her injuries untreated, for six hours, the complaint alleges.
The criminal charges against Garner have been dismissed.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Loveland Police Chief Bob Ticer said he "fully" supports the charges "brought against these two individuals regarding their interactions with Ms. Garner. We understand the desire for accountability and justice and we are seeing that today for Ms. Garner with the charges being filed."
Ticer's statement adds: "Our department will continue to cooperate with any criminal investigation into this matter. We understand the severity of this incident and as such I have requested, in addition to the criminal proceedings, an independent, third-party internal affairs investigation overseen by the City's Human Resources Department. That investigation will begin immediately."
It is unclear if Hopp or Jalali have entered pleas to the charges or retained lawyers who can speak for them.
PEOPLE's efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.