95-Year-Old Great Grandmother Dies After Being Tasered by Police

95-Year-Old Great Grandmother Dies After Being Tasered by Police
Clare Nowland reacts following her skydive in Canberra, Australia, on April 6, 2008. (Australian Broadcasting Corp. via AP)

The Australian officer who tasered 95-year-old Clare Nowland could have his charges upgraded after she died from her injuries on the evening of May 24.

New South Wales (NSW) Constable Kristian White, 33, was charged with three offences hours before Nowland’s passing at Cooma Hospital located in the regions.

White was suspended with pay after tasering the great-grandmother at her nursing home, Yallambee Lodge, last week when she was met by officers while holding a steak knife.

Staff at the Lodge called the police to attend to dementia suffering Nowland on May 17, who uses a walking frame and weighs just 43 kilograms (94.7 pounds).

“Negotiations commenced with Clare to essentially drop the knife. For whatever reason, Clare did not do that,” Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter told reporters on May 19.

Cotter said Nowland was alone in a room with police negotiating at the doorway when she approached them with the knife in hand “at a slow pace.”

White, who has 12 years of experience, deployed the taser on Nowland causing her to fall, hit her head, and fracture her skull. She has remained in hospital in critical condition since.

White was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said there was a possibility that his charges could be upgraded.

“I am confident that this matter is before the court without interference,” she told reporters on May 24.

“This has been traumatic for everyone in the police force,” she said. “This is one incident out of over 2 million calls for assistance we get every year. I’m sure that the community can be reassured that NSW will carry on with the job that we always do.”

Webb also stood by the decision to suspend White with pay.

“He’s afforded the same opportunity as any other resident and his employment will continue to be reviewed, but at the moment he’s still suspended from the workplace,” she said.

Webb conceded days earlier that he had yet to watch bodycam footage of the incident, while adding that a review would be conducted to examine how police dealt with dementia suffers.

“The role of a police officer seems to be growing wider and wider, and we are expected to know everything about everything—and we are not experts on everything,” she said.

NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley offered her condolences to the family of Nowland.

“We will continue to offer support to the Nowland family as they mourn this loss and we urge people to respect their privacy at this time,” she said.

The state opposition is pressuring the government to release vision captured on the two attending officers’ body cameras.

AAP contributed to this article.

From The Epoch Times

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