Clare Nowland is described as a once-vigorous woman known in the community for her adventurous spirit who went skydiving on her 80th and 85th birthdays.
Trigger Warning: The following article mentions elderly persons & persons with disability abuse which some readers may find distressing.
A 95-year-old great-grandmother passed away on Wednesday night, May 24, 2023, after reportedly being tasered by police in Australia. Kristian White, a 33-year-old senior constable with 12 years of experience, is scheduled to appear in court on July 5 in Cooma, located approximately 200 miles southwest of Sydney.
He faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, according to The Guardian Australia. White had been suspended with pay after allegedly tasing Clare Nowland, who had dementia, in her nursing home. It was reported that Nowland was believed to be armed with a steak knife. “At the time she was tasered, she was approaching police. It is fair to say at a slow pace. She had a walking frame," Peter Cotter, NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner said.
According to media reports, the 95-year/old NSW great-grandma who was tasered in her nursing home has died in hospital, as the policeman who taseted has been charged.— Melissa Hoyer (@melissahoyer) May 24, 2023
Rest In Peace Mrs Nowland. 🙏🏻🙏🏻 😔😔https://t.co/PbphBWA6KV via @dailytelegraph #clarenowland pic.twitter.com/iQJsRJ0cmC
Upon being tasered, Nowland fell and hit her head, resulting in a fractured skull and other life-threatening injuries. She was left in critical condition following the incident. During a press conference on Wednesday night, May 24, NSW police commissioner Karen Webb expressed condolences to the Nowland family and referred to the incident as a "nasty incident."
"The Nowland family have been informed of this development and our prayers and thoughts are with Mrs Nowland," Webb said. "This has been traumatic for everyone in the police force," the commissioner added. According to PEOPLE, the footage from an officer's body camera capturing the incident would not be released due to the ongoing investigation.
Great grandma who suffers from Alzheimers tasered in Cooma.— Ella Cooper (@EllaCoo55777104) May 18, 2023
Police were called to age care facility because she was holding a knife.
She is in a serious condition !
Is this right or wrong way for the police to handle a 95 yr old ? 😞🤔#NewsBreakfast
Nowland is described as a once-vigorous woman known in the community for her adventurous spirit, including going skydiving on her 80th and 85th birthdays per CNN. “This woman couldn’t stand without a walking aid. She’s not that strong. She’s around 43 kilos (95 pounds) and 5-foot-2 (1.58 meters)," community advocate Andrew Thaler said.
NSW police minister Yasmin Catley extended sincere condolences to the Nowland family during the press conference, representing the NSW Government. Catley expressed sympathies at the press conference saying, "On behalf of the NSW Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Nowland family for the loss of their dearly loved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Clare Nowland."
She emphasized the government's commitment to providing support to the grieving family and urged respect for their privacy during this difficult time. "Our sympathies and thoughts are also extended to the community of Cooma, Mrs. Nowland's friends, as well as the residents and carers at Cooma Yallambee Lodge," Catley added.
"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." They further added that the incident has raised concerns and led to an ongoing investigation, causing significant distress within the police force. As the investigation continues, authorities will work to uncover the details surrounding the tragic event. “There’s simply no excuse for it. But it’s happened. We want to know why and how,” Thaler said.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Lucyfer Smith Smith