Ex-officer jailed after the rough arrest of a woman with dementia

For assaulting a woman with dementia during an arrest in June 2020, a former Colorado police officer was sentenced to five years in prison. During the arrest by officer Austin Hopp, Karen Garner, then 73, suffered a broken arm, sprained wrist, and shoulder injury.

Later footage showed police officers laughing while reviewing the incident footage. In March, Hopp pleaded guilty to assault charges. With that plea, the former officer avoided a potential sentence of 10 to 30 years if he had been convicted after a trial. Ms Garner was suspected of stealing goods worth $14 (£11) and not paying for them. Staff members stopped Ms Garner to recover the merchandise, which included soda cans and laundry detergent, according to surveillance footage from the supermarket. Body camera footage shows officers approaching Ms Garner as she walked home. Hopp grabs her and throws her to the ground after she refuses to comply with police orders to stop. Her arm is pressed against her shoulder blades.

Officers in the booking area of the police station were later caught on camera mocking Ms Garner while reviewing body camera video of the incident and laughing at the audible “pop” heard when her shoulder was dislocated. Despite Hopp, Ms Jalali, and other officers acknowledging that Ms Garner may have been injured during the arrest, she received no medical attention for several hours while in custody.

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