Woman with dementia whose arm was broken during arrest gets $3m pay-out

An elderly woman with dementia is to get $3m (£2.2m) compensation after suffering a broken arm and dislocated shoulder while being arrested for shoplifting.

Karen Garner, 75, was detained after walking out of a Walmart in Colorado without paying for $14 of items in June last year.

Body-cam footage showed her being pinned to the ground and held against the bonnet of a police car with her arm behind her back.

The two officers who arrested her have resigned and are facing criminal charges.

 photo provided by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Daria Jalali is seen in a booking photo in Fort Collins, Colo.Jalali and Austin Hopp former police officers facing criminal charges over the rough arrest of a woman with dementia last year. PIC: Larimer County Sheriff's Office via AP
Image:Daria Jalali and Austin Hopp (right) are facing criminal charges

Ms Garner suffers from dementia and sensory aphasia, which impacts her ability to verbally communicate and understand.

Video also showed Ms Garner slumped over and handcuffed to a bench in a holding cell after she was detained.

She appeared frail and confused, repeatedly saying: “I want to go home.”

More on Colorado

  • Wife drives husband back to jail after he was mistakenly released in Colorado

The lawsuit said she was held at the police station for hours before getting medical care, despite complaining about her injuries.

Other footage from the station showed officers joking around while watching the body-cam video of Ms Garner’s arrest.

Her family sued the city of Loveland and the police officers involved, with a lawyer saying the arrest had accelerated her decline and she now needed round-the-clock care.

Officer Austin Hopp, who handcuffed Ms Garner, has been charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault and attempting to influence a public servant, as well as a misdemeanour count of official misconduct.

Daria Jalali, the other officer, faces three misdemeanour counts of failing to report the use of force, failure to intervene and official misconduct.

Three police supervisors at the time of the arrest said the use of force was “reasonable and appropriate”, according to internal documents released by family lawyer Sarah Schielke.

But on Wednesday, police chief Bob Ticer said there was “no excuse, under any circumstances, for what happened to Ms Garner”.

Austin Hopp is scheduled for an arraignment on the charges against him on 29 September, while Jalali is set for a disposition hearing next month.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *