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Former Loveland officers turn themselves in after being charged in Karen Garner arrest incident

Advisement hearing for Austin Hopp held Thursday afternoon
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Posted at 1:08 PM, May 20, 2021

DENVER – The two former Loveland police officers charged Wednesday in connection to their arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia last year both turned themselves in to Larimer County authorities on Thursday morning.

Larimer County jail records show Austin Hopp, 26, was arrested at 8:32 a.m. and that Daria Jalali, 27, was arrested at 9:48 a.m.

Warrants had been issued for their arrest on Wednesday after they were each charged with three counts for the actions during the arrest of Karen Garner last year and the reporting of the incident that followed.

Hopp was charged with second-degree assault causing serious bodily injury, attempting to influence a public servant, and first-degree official misconduct. The first two charges listed are felonies.

Jalali was charged with failure to report use of force by a peace officer, failure to intervene, and first-degree official misconduct. All three counts are misdemeanors.

Hopp appeared in person for an advisement hearing in a Larimer County courtroom Thursday afternoon wearing a lime green jail jumpsuit and handcuffs.

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Austin Hopp attends an advisement hearing on Thursday, May 20, 2021, after he was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with his arrest of Karen Garner last year in Loveland.

A judge set his bond at $20,000, ordered that Hopp not be allowed to possess weapons and that he have no contact with the victims in the case. The judge also ordered that Hopp could not contact law enforcement agencies about prospective jobs.

Hopp is living out of state, the court learned, and will be allowed to continue doing so once he posts bond.

Hopp will not have any pre-trial supervision, the judge ruled. Hopp’s next court date, his first appearance, was scheduled for May 25.

Hopp had posted bond as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Jalali posted a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and was released about an hour after she was booked. Her next court date is scheduled for June, according to court records.

The two former officers were charged following an investigation by the 8th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) into their actions while arresting Garner last year, breaking her arm and dislocating her shoulder in the process, and into the subsequent reporting of the use of force per department policy.

The review was initiated April 19, a week after an attorney for Garner filed a federal lawsuit against the police department and officers claiming they used excessive force in arresting Garner.

Eighth Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said the investigation and 700-page report that it resulted in found that Hopp made “substantial omissions” when being interviewed about the incident “in an attempt to thwart the investigation of his conduct,” which led to the attempt to influence a public servant count. He said Hopp also used excessive force in arresting Garner.

An affidavit for Hopp’s arrest released Wednesday says that Hopp was aware he might have broken Garner’s shoulder and also knew that “this is going to turn into something,” as Jalali said to him. The affidavit also says that Garner told Hopp 14 times that her shoulder hurt, and he did not offer her medical treatment.

Further, the affidavit states that Hopp was misleading in his reports to his superiors, including the narrative he gave in his Blue Team excessive force report.

Jalali's affidavit says she was charged with failure to intervene and failure to report use of force because she "had ample time" to recognize Garner had dementia and watched the body camera footage of Garner's arrest back, which "was clear that Officer Hopp was not acting reasonably in his use of force," and failed to report the use of force within 10 days.

The 700-page report is not being released pending the outcome of the criminal court process, McLaughlin said.

The attorney for Garner and her family, Sarah Schielke, said Wednesday that while they appreciated Hopp and Jalali being charged, they believe Metzler should also face charges and that Hopp and Jalali should face more counts for the pain inflicted on Garner.

“That is a start, but it’s not good enough,” Schielke said. “Make no mistake, the Garner family feels immense relief the DA’s Office has charged some of these criminals with actual crimes. … Ultimately, the DA’s Office’s decision to stop their charging decision after Hopp and Jalali has left the family with more questions than answers and more concern than relief.”

This is a developing news story and will be updated.