A former Colorado police officer has been sentenced to five years in prison for violently arresting a 73-year-old woman with dementia. The elderly woman sustained a broken arm, a sprained wrist, and a dislocated shoulder during arrest.
Karen Garner went to a grocery store in Loveland in June 2020 where she bought items for $14. However, according to her lawyer, she forgot to pay due to her poor memory. Although store employees recovered the items from the woman, the police were called. The seventy-year-old was pulled off the road by police officer Austin Hope as she was returning home. And because she refused to follow his orders—perhaps because she didn’t understand them—he set her on the ground and handcuffed her.
The footage of the violent arrest caused a stir at the time, especially since CCTV footage captured moments later at the police station showed Austin Hope and other colleagues laughing as they replayed the scene.
The officer pleaded guilty to assault during his trial and apologized to Garner’s family. According to Judge Michelle Brenegar, this was not just a mistake, but of a young policeman who abused his position of power.
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