In a deeply tragic incident that has shocked the nation, a 95-year-old Australian woman named Clare Nowland passed away after being shocked with a stun gun by a police officer. The incident, which occurred at the Yallambee Lodge care facility in Cooma, New South Wales, has triggered widespread public outcry, demands for an investigation, and calls for transparency.
According to reports, New South Wales police responded to a call on Friday concerning Nowland, who was said to be suffering from dementia and wandering the facility while holding a steak knife. As officers attempted to engage with her, she slowly approached them using her walker. In response, a 33-year-old senior constable, identified as Kristian White, discharged his stun gun.
Tragically, Nowland fell and struck her head, sustaining critical injuries. She was immediately hospitalized but succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday morning. In light of this devastating outcome, the officer responsible has been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault. The charges may be subject to change given Nowland’s demise.
Local residents and rights activists have voiced their outrage over the incident, questioning the necessity of such force against a frail 95-year-old woman who stood at just 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed a mere 95 pounds. The community, along with the family of Clare Nowland, is seeking answers and demanding justice.
The incident has prompted widespread calls for a parliamentary investigation into the circumstances surrounding Nowland’s death. Concerned individuals are also demanding the release of the body camera footage, hoping for a clear understanding of the events leading to this tragedy. However, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb has cited the traumatic nature of the incident and emphasized the need to follow due process before releasing any footage.
Police Commissioner Webb expressed her condolences to the family, referring to the incident as a “nasty” affair. While the family has been informed about the charges laid against the officer, they have requested privacy during this difficult time. New South Wales Police Minister Yasmin Catley acknowledged the family’s anguish and stressed the importance of allowing the investigation to unfold.