95-year-old woman with dementia dies after police used stun gun on her at Australian nursing home

A 95-year-old woman with dementia has died a week after an Australian police officer shocked her with a stun gun at a nursing home, officials said on Wednesday.

Clare Nowland ‘passed away peacefully in hospital just after 7pm tonight, surrounded by family and loved ones who have requested privacy during this sad and difficult time,’ NSW Police said. in a statement posted online..

Two officers had arrived at the Nowland retirement home in Cooma early in the morning of May 17 following reports of someone armed with a knife.

Christian Whitesenior police officer, 33, shot Nowland with a stun gun in her home as she approached a walker while carrying a steak knife. The woman then fell to the ground and hit her head, fracturing his skull.

“At the time she was tasered she was approaching the police,” NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Cotter told reporters last week. “It’s fair to say at a slow pace. She had a walker. But she had a knife.

Body camera footage of the meeting has not yet been published. But the news of the incident outraged local community members and others who criticized the use of force against a 95 pound person.

“She’s either a nimble, fit, quick and intimidating 95-year-old woman, or there’s a lack of judgment on these officers and they really need to be held to account,” said Nicole Lee, the president of the advocacy group People With Disability Australia.

NSW officers are prohibited from using stun guns on ‘elderly or disabled’ people unless “Exceptional circumstances” require it, according to the police force conduct guide. The rule also applies when it comes to anyone with a “particularly small body mass”.

White, who has about 12 years experience in the forcewas suspended from the police force with pay during an investigation. He was also charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault causing actual bodily harm, and common assault, although the charges could be upgraded after Nowland’s death.

White is due in court on July 5.

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