*Police in Colorado were caught on camera joking and laughing at their violent arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia, whose family has since filed a civil rights lawsuit against the department.
Newly released video shows officers back at the precinct having a big ol’ kiki while watching bodycam video of the arrest, which took place last summer about an hour north of Denver in the city of Loveland. Officer Austin Hopp arrested Karen Garner in June 2020 after she allegedly left a store without paying for about $14 worth of items. Hopp’s body camera footage shows him catching up to her as she walks through a field along a road. She shrugs and turns away from him and he quickly grabs her arm and pushes her 80-pound body to the ground. She looks confused and repeatedly says, “I am going home.”
Security footage at the Loveland police station shows officers Hopp and Daria Jalali watching Hopp’s body camera footage as Garner is handcuffed in a holding cell nearby. At several points during the hourlong video, they laugh, fist bump and joke about the incident.
“I was like, ‘All right, let’s wrestle, girl.’ … I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old to the ground,” Hopp said.
The lawsuit filed against Loveland Police alleged Garner had multiple injuries, including a dislocated shoulder and fractured arm. Sarah Schielke, Garner’s attorney, said the woman was in custody for several hours before she received any medical attention. In the video, officers seem to acknowledge she was hurt.
“Ready for the pop. Hear the pop?” Hopp said to another officer.
“What did you pop?”
Hopp replied: “I think it was her shoulder.”
“What’s going on at this police department for somebody to act like this? What’s wrong with their culture? You have to see it to believe it, right?” Schielke said. “And when you do see it, you know, I’ll tell you this is very much what I suspected was going on.”
Loveland police could not provide any further comment.