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2nd officer pleads guilty in Karen Garner case

Daria Jalali originally faced three counts related to her involvement in the 2020 arrest of the elderly woman with dementia.

LOVELAND, Colo. — A former Loveland officer who was among the first charged with failing to intervene under a new Colorado law pleaded guilty in Larimer County District Court Wednesday afternoon.

Daria Jalali pleaded guilty to a single count of failure to intervene.

She originally faced the following charges:

  • Peace officer: Failure to report use of force
  • Peace officer: Failure to intervene
  • Official misconduct

The misconduct charge and the failure to report use of force charge were both dismissed as part of the plea deal, according to court records. A sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Credit: LCSO
Former Loveland police officer Daria Jalali

Jalali was involved in the June 2020 arrest of Karen Garner, an elderly woman with dementia.

Credit: KUSA

An attorney released footage of Garner's June 26, 2020 arrest in April of last year as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit. It alleges that Garner was forcibly pushed to the ground and that during the arrest she suffered multiple injuries. Those injuries included a dislocated shoulder, a broken humerus and a sprained wrist.

RELATED: 'There needs to be change': Karen Garner's family says $3 million settlement is only a start

Jalali and former officer Austin Hopp were charged in May 2021, almost a year after the arrest of Garner, who was 73 when the incident took place.

> Below: Body camera footage shows the arrest. This footage has been edited by the law firm representing Garner. (Warning: The content in this video is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.) 

Garner was arrested while walking home along Mountain Lion Road. She had just come from a nearby Walmart where she attempted to leave without paying for about $14 worth of items, the lawsuit says. The 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office said that Garner's misdemeanor case was dismissed.

According to the arrest affidavit in the case, while Garner was in custody, Hopp told Jalali, "I thought I broke [Garner's] shoulder, did you hear it pop?"

Neither officer offered Garner medical care, despite the fact she repeatedly said her shoulder hurt, according to the affidavit. 

Hopp, Jalali and community service officer Tyler Blackett resigned after the incident came to light. 

Sgt. Phil Metzler, who also responded to the scene of Garner's arrest, remained with the department until September of last year. He resigned after video was made public that appeared to show him dismissing excessive force concerns made to him by a man who witnessed Garner's arrest.

RELATED: Former Loveland cop sentenced to 5 years in assault of Karen Garner

Hopp was initially charged with three counts, including assault, but pleaded guilty to a single charge of second-degree assault, a class four felony, on March 2. He was sentenced to five years in prison last month.

Credit: Loveland Reporter Herald
FORT COLLINS, CO - MARCH 2, 2022: Former Loveland police officer Austin Hopp walks to the podium before pleading guilty to felony assault Wednesday, March 2, 2022, for his connection to the 2020 arrest of Karen Garner during a hearing at the Larimer County Justice Center in Fort Collins. It is a lesser charge than he originally faced with a less severe sentence. (Jenny Sparks/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

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