When I learned about what the police officers of Loveland Colorado did to a 73 year old lady with dementia my blood boiled! When I watched the bodycam and the booking area video footage I could clearly see what these officers thought about this woman and her conditions.
On June 26, 2020 a 73 year old lady, with dementia, walked out of a Walmart without paying for approximately $14.00 worth of merchandise. The store stopped her and got their items back. Later, the lady was walking down the side of the road on her way back home and Officer Austin Hopp pulls up to her and within 30 seconds starts taking her to the ground. She can be heard saying “I’m going home” several times. Officer Hopp had other plans for her. Another officer, named Daria Jalali, and Sergeant Phil Metzler assisted with the arrest of the women. These officers ended up dislocating her shoulder and fractured her arm in the course of arresting her.
Officer Hopp’s could not wait to go hands on with an elderly lady. He did not take the time to analyze the situation with the lady. It was apparent, from the bodycam footage and Hopp’s comments later, that he views this lady as inferior to himself. He clearly has no care to treat others as his equal. He fist bumps Officer Jalali in the booking area as they discuss the arrest. He speaks to another officer, in reference to “getting to use the hobbles for the first time”. He says “I was very proud” he laughs and then say’s “I was super exited”.
To someone who has studied people for most of my life and also have been a law enforcement officer, I can clearly see that this officer views his job like a game. He does not think of himself as someone to contribute to the community, he wants more “action” than communication. This is the direction that I see more and more officers going today and that is sad. They love the perceived power.
I have one question for these officers: What Do You See When You Look Into The Mirror?
Here is video footage from this incident that could have been avoided.