Ex-Colorado cop sentenced in arrest of woman with dementia

A former Colorado police officer who failed to intervene in another cop’s rough arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia was sentenced Friday to 45 days in jail and three years of probation.

Daria Jalali is the second officer to be sentenced for the arrest of Karen Garner.

She’s also the first former officer to be convicted under Colorados’s new failure-to-intervene law, according to local television station KCNC-TV.

Garner was arrested by former Colorado officer Austin Hopp in June 2020 after she left a Walmart store in Loveland, about 50 miles north of Denver, without paying for about $14 worth of merchandise.

A mother of three and grandmother of nine, Garner has dementia and sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to understand and communicate. She was 73 at the time of the arrest.

Shocking body-cam footage of the incident shows Garner repeatedly saying that she was trying to go home.

She can also be seen with her face on the ground and her arm behind her back, while still holding some wildflowers she had picked up on the way.

Jalali, who arrived after Garner was already handcuffed, tells her to “stand up! We’re not going to hold you.”

She pleaded guilty in June to a charge of failure to intervene and faced up to 60 days in jail.

On Friday, the 28-year-old appeared before 8th Judicial District Court Judge Joshua Lehman for her sentencing in a case described by the judge as “incomprehensible.”

“It is just tragic that this even happened and it was compounded by the continuous choices that you made throughout the two hours you were with her,” Lehman told Jalali during the sentencing. “You need to recognize that.”

Jalali had “every opportunity to stop the cruelty and do the right thing,” but did not, Garner’s son, John Steward, told the Loveland Reporter-Herald Friday morning.

In March, Jalali’s former partner pleaded guilty to second-degree assault.

He was later sentenced to five years in prison.

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