Former Colorado cop Austin Hopp was sentenced to five years in prison after violently arresting a 73-year-old woman.
Bodycam footage of the incident shows Hopp violently arresting Karen Garner, an elderly woman with dementia, who fractured her arm during the incident.
On Thursday, May 5, Hopp was sentenced by Larimer County District Judge Michelle Brinegar after pleading guilty to a charge of second-degree assault.
The violent arrest took place on June 26, 2020, after employees of a local Walmart alerted authorities to Garner, who allegedly stole $14 worth of merchandise.
The employees collected the merchandise and Garner left the store.
On her way home, the dazed woman was walking through a field, when Hopp approached her.
Garner tried to walk away when the ex-cop approached her, at which point Hopp said, “I don’t think you wanted to play that way.”
As the incident unfolded, Hopp was seen forcefully pulling Garner’s arms back, as she exclaimed that she was just “going home”.
While officers later said it ‘went well’ and they ‘squashed’ it in reference to the arrest, there was a huge public outcry after the footage was released in April 2021.
Soon after, Hopp was suspended from duty and in May was arrested, as reported by The Washington Post.
Now the former cop has been convicted, with Judge Brinegar saying: “This case is not about a mistake.
“This [case is] about a young officer who used his position of power and authority to show his tenacity, ignored all sense of humanity and exhibited alarming criminal thinking.”
Garner’s family won a $3 million settlement in September 2021 after suing the city of Loveland and a number of police officers, and received a public apology from the city.
“The settlement with Karen Garner will help end an unfortunate event in our community, but does not disrupt the work that remains for us to do. We offer a deep and sincere apology to Karen Garner and her family for what they endured as a result of that arrest,” said Loveland City Manager Steve Adams.
However, the incident took a toll on Garner’s health, with the woman who suffers from dementia now having PTSD as a result of the incident.
Hopp said he was “really ashamed” of his actions.