95-Year-Old Woman With Dementia Who Was Tased by Australian Cop Dies, Officer Charged

The elderly woman with dementia was reportedly using a walker and holding a steak knife when the cop used his tasing device.

Video via 7News Australia

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Video via 7News Australia

A 95-year-old Australian woman with dementia has died after a cop tased her in a nursing home.

“It is with great sadness we confirm the passing of 95-year-old Clare Nowland in Cooma tonight,” the New South Wales Police Force said in a statement shared on Wednesday. “Mrs. Nowland passed away peacefully in hospital just after 7pm this evening, surrounded by family and loved ones who have requested privacy during this sad and difficult time.”

Per a report from the Sydney Morning Herald, Nowland is alleged to have been tased last week by a since-charged officer. According to reports, the 95-year-old woman was holding a steak knife and using a walker at the time of the incident. When she was struck with the officer’s Taser, she “fell to the ground and hit her head,” later dying in a local hospital.

“Our thoughts and condolences remain with those who were lucky enough to know, love, and be loved by Mrs Nowland during a life she led hallmarked by family, kindness and community,” police said on Wednesday.

Kristian White, who served as a senior constable with the department, has now been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault. The officer is expected to make a court appearance in July.

In police’s initial statement on May 17, the launching of a “critical incident investigation” was announced in connection with what was then described as “an elderly woman [who] sustained injuries during an interaction with police at an aged care facility.” After being injured, police said at the time, the 95-year-old was taken to the hospital.

At a subsequent press conference, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the full investigation into this incident “will take time.” She also revealed that she had spoke with members of Nowland’s family, who, like everyone in the community, want “answers” about why police were called to the facility at all.

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