Ruthie DiTucci

To what extent is what goes on around us in society, “not our business?” Karen Garner suffers from dementia. Colorado police followed what they felt was their “protocol” in what they referred to as a routine arrest of a shoplifter. The manner in which Loveland Police Department officers handled the case was particularly harsh but they didn’t treat the witness very well either.

When a bystander asked the arresting officer, “Do you have to use that much aggression?”, one of the officers replied, among other things, “This is not your business.”

The witness asked the officers for their supervisor’s name so that he could file a report of such a violent arrest against someone so small. The witness thought the person being arrested was a child due to her diminutive size. Garner weighs 80 pounds.

Arresting Garner may have seemed routine to the officers that brutalized her but it has opened up serious national discussion about how society treats its elderly.

On June 26, 2020, two police officers answered a shoplifting call. The suspect was a 73 year old female which the police officers threw to the ground for the purposes of handcuffing her hands behind her back. Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali then removed Karen Garner from the car, threw her on the ground a second time so that Hopp could “hog tie” the woman. Their arrest procedure left the woman with a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and a fractured wrist.

Police officer Austin Hopp has been charged with…

  • Second-degree assault causing serious bodily injury, a Class 3 felony
  • Attempt to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony
  • Official misconduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor

Daria Jalali was charged with…

  • Peace officer failing to report use of force, a Class 1 misdemeanor 
  • Peace officer failing to intervene, a Class 2 misdemeanor
  • Official misconduct, a Class 2 misdemeanor 

If the physical assault wasn’t bad enough, other Loveland police officers “fist bump” and laugh loudly as they enjoy viewing the body camera video. Karen Garner’s family attorney, Sarah Schielke reports that as the three officers laughed as they watched the arrest video. Community officer Tyler Blackett, Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali were watching a video of the incident when Hopp asks the other two, “Ready? Listen, here comes the pop”. He was referring to when Garner’s arm popped out of its socket.

The police officers turned themselves in after holding Garner for over 6 hours in handcuffs and refusing her requests for medical care. Former officer Austin Hopp was heard to be excited about Garner’s arrest because it was the first time he had been able to hog tie someone during an arrest.

Former police officer Austin Hopp’s lawyer was able to convince judge to allow Hopp to live out of state before and during proceedings.
Former officer Austin Hopp
Former officer Daria Jalali

A community olice officer, Tyler Blackett who drove Garner to the police station and booked her has also been charged in the case against the 73 year old, 80 pound woman. Walmart has little to say while the case is in litigation. The case is significant enough that it now has its own Wikipedia listing:

73 year old, 80 pound Karen Garner complained (more than 23 times) that her arm hurt.
Dr. Todd Grande Case Assessment