The former Colorado police officer who dislocated an elderly woman’s arm during a violent arrest will be offered a plea deal in an upcoming hearing, says the woman’s family. Karen Garner lives with dementia, and as seen on video, then-officer Austin Hopp of the Loveland Police Department took her to the ground and pushed her against his vehicle in a matter of mere minutes during the incident on June 26, 2020. She had allegedly forgotten to pay Walmart $13.88.
“When you hear the word plea ‘bargain,’ plea ‘deal,’ that means to cheapen something and we feel that this whole case is being cheapened by not allowing it to just go to court,” daughter-in-law Shannon Steward told KDVR.
Hopp is scheduled for a hearing to take place Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Maillaro told the family the D.A.’s office is considering a plea deal, Steward told The Reporter Herald. The family talked it over and chose to oppose the plea deal. Maillaro said the office would go through with the offer anyway, she said. A D.A.’s office spokesman declined to provide comment to the outlet on Saturday.
Steward said she will speak to Judge Michelle Brinegar during the hearing to convey the family’s opposition to the deal.
“We are not trying the case on Wednesday,” she said. “We are planning on making an emotional argument. We are making the argument that Karen has the right for Hopp to have his day in court.”
Garner, now 75, won a $3 million settlement for the violent arrest. Hopp and Daria Jalali, the other officer who aided in the arrest, were charged in the incident.
Surveillance footage at the police station showed Hopp cheerfully narrating body cam footage of the arrest to Jalali and an officer identified in the lawsuit as Tyler Blackett. He fist-bumped both of them in separate parts of the video.
“Did you hear the pop?” he said. “When I had her pushed against the car when you first got there? I was like, ‘Okay, you’re gonna play,’ and I was pushing, pushing, pushing, and I hear ‘pop,’ I was like ‘Oh, no.’”
[Screenshot via Loveland Police Department]
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