Former Colorado cop sentenced to 5 years for violent arrest of woman with dementia – New York Daily News

A former Colorado police officer was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for the violent arrest of an elderly woman with dementia nearly two years ago.

In June 2020, Austin Hopp arrested Karen Garner after she walked out of a Walmart store in Loveland, about 50 miles north of Denver, without paying for approximately $14 worth of merchandise.

Body camera footage showed Hopp forcefully grabbing her arm and then pushing her to the ground.

Garner, who was 73 at the time, can be seen in the video with his face to the ground and his arm behind his back, still holding some wildflowers he had picked along the way.

Security video from the police station showed Hopp playing the footage to some of his colleagues and laughing about it.

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Garner sued the police department saying he dislocated his shoulder and was left with a broken bone.

According to her attorney, Garner, a mother of three and grandmother of nine, has dementia and sensory aphasia, which affects her ability to understand and communicate.

In September, the city announced that it had agreed to pay the woman $3 million. The money would be used to care for her, Garner’s family said.

Hopp was initially charged with first-degree misdemeanor official misconduct and two felony counts, including second-degree assault on an at-risk adult and attempting to influence a public servant.

In March, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and faced probation up to eight years in prison.

The other two charges were dropped as part of the deal, which was struck by prosecutors.

Garner’s family opposed the deal, his daughter-in-law, Shannon Steward, said at the time.

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