Two former police officers in Loveland, ColoradoWednesday for the violent arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia.
Loveland District Attorney Gordon Mclaughlin charged Austin Hopp with second-degree assault, attempting to influence a public servant and official misconduct. Daria Jalali is charged with failing to report use of force, failing to intervene and official misconduct in connection to the arrest oflast June. The officers resigned from the department last month.
“Austin Hopp used excessive force in the arrest of Ms. Garner and that resulted in serious bodily injury. Daria Jalali, having witnessed that excessive force, failed to live up to her duties under the law as a sworn peace officer,” Mclaughlin said.
Body camera video showed Officer Hopp tackling Garner — who weighed 80 pounds at the time of her arrest. She was accused of stealing $13.88 worth of items from Walmart.
Store security caught Garner and she returned the items. Despite that, Loveland officers pursued her. During the arrest, Garner’s shoulder was dislocated and her arm broken.
Garner’s family is thrilled the officers involved will be prosecuted, but this decision took nearly a year to come down.
“They’re being charged for something, it’s just not enough,” Garner’s daughter, Allisa Swartz, told CBS News’ David Begnaud
According to court papers, she sat for more than six hours without medical attention. She had suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured arm and sprained wrist, as well as scrapes and bruises across her body.
“This is torture that has been exposed here,” family attorney Sarah Schielke said.
Last month, Garner’s family filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Loveland and five officers for violating Garner’s civil rights. They claim Hopp used excessive force, and that Garner was left without necessary
Schielke said three more officers should also be charged, including at least one who was capturedwith Hopp and Jalali.
“It went up the chain of command along with thethat various levels of the chain of command watched. And nobody did anything,” she said.
The family believes Garner’s case was swept under the rug by the entire department and more people should be held accountable.
“This all happened nearly a year ago, and all of this has only occurred because we filed a lawsuit and we released the videos. All of this speaks to a culture and an environment that made it possible for that to happen,” Schielke said.
Loveland Police Chief Robert Ticer says he didn’t see the videos until this April — 10 months after the arrest.
The police department has undergone Alzheimer’s awareness training immediately after the video came to light. They also plan on enhancing their de-escalation training techniques in the coming weeks and months.
Swartz believes both officers and other supervisors must be fired and wants to see the entire department overhauled.
“My mom would be ashamed. Because she looks up to a policeman in uniform. They’re there to protect you, not harm you,” she said.