A former Loveland police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to failing to stop another officer from assaulting a 73-year-old woman during an arrest on suspicion of attempted petty shoplifting.
Daria Jalali, 28, pleaded guilty to failure to intervene, a misdemeanor, and could face a maximum of five years of probation and 60 days of jail for the crime, Larimer County Judge Joshua Lehman said.
Colorado lawmakers in 2020 created the crime of failing to intervene as part of a sweeping police reform bill spurred by the massive protests of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
As part of her plea deal, Jalali agreed to not seek employment as a police officer again.
Jalali was one of two Loveland police officers criminally charged for violently arresting 73-year-old Karen Garner in 2020. The arrest — captured on body camera — gained national attention after Garner’s family sued Loveland and released the footage. The attention spawned protests, criminal prosecutions, a multimillion-dollar civil settlement and internal investigations at the northern Colorado police department.
The other officer who made the arrest, Austin Hopp, contacted Garner on June 26, 2020, after receiving a report that Garner attempted to walk out of a Walmart with $13 of merchandise. Garner, who has dementia, returned the items before leaving.
Hopp forced the 5-foot-2-inch, 80-pound grandmother to the ground within 30 seconds of contacting her because she kept walking despite his orders for her to stop, body camera footage of the interaction shows. He then handcuffed her and, with the help of Jalali, forced her against his police cruiser. Hopp wrenched Garner’s arm backward. Jalali yelled at Garner as the 73-year-old tried to tell the officers she was going home.
“A little bloody, a little muddy, that’s how it works,” Jalali said when a supervisor who arrived on the scene asked how they were doing.
Hopp dislocated Garner’s shoulder and fractured her arm. The assault significantly worsened Garner’s dementia symptoms and she was unable to live independently after the arrest, Garner’s family has said.
Prosecutors in May 2021 charged Jalali with three misdemeanors: failure to report use of force, failure to intervene and official misconduct.
Prosecutors charged Hopp with second-degree assault, attempting to influence a public servant and official misconduct. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in March and in May was sentenced to five years in prison.
Jalali’s sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 5.
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