Controversy in Australia: Police use Taser on 95-year-old woman

A 95-year-old woman uses a walker to ‘slowly’ walk towards her when an officer uses his Taser, it says. Voice of the North.

Australian police said Saturday they do not plan to release body camera footage of one of their officers who used a Taser on an elderly woman.

Conflict in Australia

Dementia victim Clare Nowland remains in hospital in a critical condition three days after being tested in an operation that shocked Australians and grabbed international headlines.

Police were called to a nursing home in New South Wales on Wednesday to subdue a woman “wielding a knife,” police said in a statement.

They forced Nowland to put down his knife but he used a walker and walked towards them at a ‘slow pace’, prompting one of the officers to fire his Taser, authorities say.

An investigation “takes time”

Asked at a press conference about political calls to release footage of the intervention, New South Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb said: “I don’t know why they want to see them. ยป

Citing “legal requirements” regarding surveillance devices, Ms. Webb said she had no intention of disclosing the surveillance devices “unless there is a process at the end (of the process) that would allow them to be disclosed.” She estimated that an investigation into the use of Tasers would “take time.”

Australian Senator David Shoebridge has asked police to release body camera footage. “The public has a right to know what the police have done, and it cannot be covered up in a private inquiry where the police are investigating the police,” he asserted.

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Ms Webb promised the investigation, led by the State Police Homicide Squad and overseen by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, would follow “proper procedure”.

The prognosis for Ms. Nowland, who has 24 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren, is uncertain, Ms. Webb said after spending time with her family at the hospital on Friday.

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