DENVER – A Colorado police officer accused of dislocating the shoulder of a 73-year-old woman with dementia while arresting her seemed to be aware he had injured her. He told fellow officers “ready for the pop?” as he showed them his body camera footage, according to police station surveillance video with enhanced audio that was made public Monday by the woman’s lawyer.
Officer Austin Hopp made the comment while showing the other officers the part of the arrest that shows Karen Garner being held against the hood of a patrol car in Loveland, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Denver last year, her handcuffed left arm bent up behind her head. The body camera footage, which can be heard but not seen on the surveillance video, was also previously released by Garner's lawyer.
The videos plus a lawsuit filed against Hopp, other officers and the city and investigations into the arrest came this month amid a national reckoning over the use of force by police against people — including those with mental and physical health conditions.
The surveillance video captured in the Loveland police station shows two other officers, one male and female, watching the footage with Hopp as he makes the “pop” comment. The female officer, who helped during the arrest and says “I hate this.”
The video then shows her pull her hat over her eyes while another male officer says, “I love it.”
Earlier in the surveillance video, before the officers watch the body camera footage, Hopp says Garner is “flexible” and says something else that’s inaudible. He then makes another reference to the popping sound, telling the female officer that “I was pushing, pushing, pushing. I hear — pop. I was like ‘oh no,’” he said. The female officer puts her head in her hands.
At the time, Garner was in a holding cell a few feet away, handcuffed to a bench. The federal lawsuit filed on her behalf earlier this month said she received no medical care for about six hours after she was taken to jail.
Later in the surveillance video, Hopp and the other male officer fist bump at the part of the body camera footage where Hopp dismisses the concerns of a man passing by the arrest scene who stops to object to how Hopp treated what the man thought was a child.