LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of a woman hurt during an arrest is speaking out against a plea deal for the former Loveland police officer charged in the case.
Austin Hopp is facing felony assault, among other charges, in the 2020 arrest of Karen Garner. Garner, now 75 years old, suffers from dementia and did so at the time of the arrest. Officers dislocated her shoulder and were captured on video joking about the incident.
Garner’s son and daughter-in-law, John and Shannon Steward, spoke with FOX31 after sharing that Hopp has been offered a plea deal. The family says they have been “adamant” that they would not accept a plea deal in the case.
“When you hear the word plea ‘bargain,’ plea ‘deal,’ that means to cheapen something and we feel that this whole case is being cheapened by not allowing it to just go to court,” Shannon said.
Hopp is set for a hearing in the case on Wednesday.
More than a year-and-a-half after the arrest, with support of the Loveland community and beyond the Garner family feels prosecutors owe it to them, to dementia research and to Garner not to settle for anything less than justice.
“It’s become clear that even the Loveland Police Department, they’re not serving and protecting the citizens of Loveland, so we want to make sure that justice prevails in this case so maybe there will be some change in that police force,” John said.