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City Hub: ‘Scope for improvement’: LECC report outlines issues with police incident investigations

The LECC has revealed significant issues with New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF)’s current approach to conducting critical incident investigations. The 2023 review, which assessed ‘Five Years of Independent Monitoring of NSW Police Force Critical Incident Investigations, found that current processes are overly lengthy and provide little opportunity to quickly improve identified issues.

Josh Pallas: "Given what happened with Clare Nowland, we think that it’s really made it quite clear that critical incidents shouldn’t be conducted by police – those investigations – they should just go to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) directly, and we’re fortified in that conclusion by what the recent LECC report is saying."

"When the LECC does supervise investigations, they have currently limited access to interviews and the investigations as a whole – so we don’t have confidence in current internal police investigations."

Read more here (link no longer available).

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The Guardian: Growing calls for parliamentary inquiry into NSW police use of force

Calls are growing for a parliamentary inquiry into use of force by New South Wales police, with justice experts saying too much focus is being placed on the actions of individual police officers rather than the “festering” systemic problem.

“It’s about time we had some accountability from high up rather than those who are part of what’s happening on the ground," Samantha Lee of the Redfern Legal Centre said. 

Josh Pallas, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said what connects these cases is a poor culture around the use of force, and a parliamentary inquiry is necessary to root out the problems.

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Daily Caller: 95-Year-Old Australian Great-Grandmother Dies After Allegedly Being Tased By Police, Officer Facing Charges

A 95-year-old great-grandmother whom police allegedly tasered earlier in May died Wednesday in an Australian hospital, officials have stated. Clare Nowland passed away May 24, around a week after the incident with police that resulting in her being tasered in the back and chest, causing her to collapse and suffer a brain bleed. 

The incident has sparked outrage throughout New South Wales, leading politicians to demand reforms in law enforcement procedures. "The refusal to release the bodycam footage protects NSW Police from public scrutiny for all the wrong reasons — the NSW community has a right to know exactly what happened when Clare Nowland was tasered so we can start to take the steps needed for change,” Sue Higginson, MLC stated.

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7NEWS:Grandmother with dementia Clare Nowland dies days after being tasered by police in NSW nursing home

Clare Nowland, the 95 year old dementia patient who was left fighting for her life after being tasered by police, has passed away. 

A statement from the police reads: 

“It is with great sadness we confirm the passing of 95-year-old Clare Nowland in Cooma tonight.”

“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.

“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.”

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Law Society of NSW: LECC ‘critical incident’ recommendations can save lives

Law Society of NSW

Better and more extensive training to enable the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) to better deal with incidents involving people with mental health issues will help protect some of the community’s most vulnerable citizens.

President of the Law Society of NSW Cassandra Banks said the report released by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) late yesterday contains common sense recommendations that, if implemented, will improve community safety and could potentially save lives.

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Mamamia: 95-year-old Clare was Tasered by police today. 15 years ago she was in the headlines for a very different reason.

In 2008, great-grandmother Clare Nowland was filmed for a feel-good segment by the ABC when she decided to go skydiving for her 80th birthday. 

This week, the now 95 year old has made headlines for a different and incredibly disturbing reason, after she was allegedly Tasered by police in an incident at her nursing home. This occured after police were called to Cooma's Yallambee Lodge after Ms Nowland, who has dementia, was found holding a steak knife

It was reported that when police tried to negotiate with Nowland, she refused to drop the knife all while approaching police "slowly" with her walking frame. 

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Network 10: 95-Year-Old Grandmother With Dementia Tasered At Nursing Home In New South Wales

Clare Nowland, a dementia patient at Cooma's Yallambee Lodge is fighting for her life after staff at her NSW nursing home called the police on Wednesday morning after she was found holding a serrated steak knife.

After the police arrived, its reported that officers were unable to get Ms Nowland to drop the knife, resulting in one officer to fire their taser at the 95 year old as she stood next to her walking frame.

NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas said police shouldn't be using tasers on vulnerable people experiencing dementia or a mental health crisis.

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WA Today: Use of Taser on 95-year-old could breach police procedures

An experienced police officer’s decision to deploy a Taser on a frail 95-year-old woman during an incident at an aged care home in southern NSW is likely in breach of police procedures on the use of the potentially-lethal weapon.

Clare Nowland, a dementia patient, was in a critical condition in hospital after she was hit by the Taser and fell, knocking her head, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. This occurred after she was found holding a serrated steak knife from the Yallambee Lodge kitchen. 

The Taser was discharged once by a male senior constable with 12 years experience. This incident was captured on body-cam footage that Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter described as “confronting”. He said the video would not be released to the public.

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BBC News: Outcry as Australian police Taser 95-year-old care home resident

An elderly Australian woman with dementia is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being Tasered by police at a care home, BBC News reports. Police was called to Cooma's Yallambee Lodge after reports that 95-year-old Clare Nowland was carrying a knife.

It was reported that Ms Nowland was struck twice - in the chest and the back - before she fell, suffering a fractured skull and a serious brain bleed. Her family are already grieving as they do not expect her to survive.

Community groups, including the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and People with Disability Australia (PwD), have criticised the police response.

For more information, read the full article

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City Hub: 95 year-old woman left in critical condition after NSW Police tasered her

A 95 year-old woman has been left in a critical condition after she was allegedly tasered by police at a regional aged care facility, City Hub's Tileah Dobson reports. 

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Clare Nowland was wandering Yallambee Lodge in Cooma prompting a call to the police. After an altercation, it was reported that police resulted to tasering Nowland after struggling to disarm her. An investigation into the matter has now been launched by the police, and that a “critical incident team will now investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Josh Pallas has begun calling on the police to cease the use of tasers on vulnerable people “who are experiencing dementia or a mental health crisis.”

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The Guardian: Woman, 95, Tasered by officer at Cooma aged care home, approached on walking frame with a knife, police say

Grandmother Clare Nowland was approaching officers at a “slow pace” using a walking frame when they deemed it necessary to deploy a Taser, leaving her fighting for her life in hospital.

The NSW police have confirmed that that the homicide squad was investigating the incident and that the senior constable involved, who had 12 years experience, is under review and no longer working. The internal investigation will be reviewed by NSW police professional standards and monitored by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Civil liberties groups, including NSW Council for Civil Liberties demanded an external watchdog, such as the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, manage the investigation, rather than the NSW police critical incident team.

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Al Mayadeen: NSW police taser 95 y/o woman with dementia in care facility

A 95-year-old woman with dementia was tasered by police in New South Wales at a senior care facility and remains in the Cooma district hospital with a suspected fractured skull and "brain bleed", according to local news outlets. 

This launched a critical investigation on the matter at Cooma’s Yallambee Lodge "after an elderly woman sustained injuries during an interaction with police at an aged care facility."

The President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Josh Pallas, urged police to stop using tasers on vulnerable individuals in light of the incident.

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AAP: Grandmother tasered in nursing home police altercation

A 95-year-old great-grandmother is reportedly fighting for her life after being tasered by police when she was found with a knife in a NSW nursing home, AAP's Samantha Lock reports. 

According to media reports, Clare Nowland was standing next to her walking frame and holding a kitchen knife when aged care workers at the Yallambee Lodge called the police in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

During the altercation with the police, Ms Nowland had a taser fired at her back and chest, leading to her collapsing and sustaining critical injuries, reports say. 

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The Guardian: NSW police allegedly Taser 95-year-old woman with dementia, leaving her with fractured skull

A 95-year-old woman with dementia is in hospital with a suspected fractured skull and “brain bleed” after she was allegedly Tasered by police at Cooma’s Yallambee Lodge.

The woman was claimed to have been tasered in the early hours on Wednesday morning after she was found wandering the aged care facility with a knife in her hand. 

“The family are grieving because they don’t expect their nan to make it through the the day, or tomorrow at the latest,” Andrew Thaler, independent candidate for Eden-Monaro said.

Josh Pallas, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, called on police to cease deploying Tasers on vulnerable people following the incident.

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The staggering omission that led to Deaths Inside

For years now, NSWCCL have been tracking the Indigenous deaths in Australian custody since the royal commision. Much of this data was sourced from Guardian's Deaths Inside project. 

This project originated when deputy editor of Guardian Australia, Will Woodward, requested a piece that included the number of people that had died since the royal commission after a 22 year old Indigenous woman named Ms Dhu died in police custody in Western Australia while serving time for unpaid fines.

Calla Wahlquist, who was reporting on Ms Dhu's death, was unable to figure out the number as, ''[the AIC] didn’t have any data available.”

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ABC News: Aboriginal people to face court without lawyers amid funding crisis

After the release of the federal budget, some groups who missed out on crucial funding are grappling with what it means for their future work including Australia's frontline Aboriginal Legal Services. 

They had made a plea for $250 million dollars in emergency funds to keep up with record demand and try to tackle staffing shortages but it was denied, meaning the ALS has had to suspend its work in more than a dozen courts in regional New South Wales.

Long time NSW Council for Civil Liberties committee member, Nicholas Cowdery spoke to ABC News regarding the ALS funding crisis. 

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: The Proposed “Voluntary” National Digital ID System May Involve Facial Recognition

In late January of this year, news bulletins included details about the just released user audit report into myGov: “the government’s front door for digital services and support”, or put more plainly, a digital platform that currently links users to fifteen government services, including Medicare and Centrelink.

“myGov is critical national infrastructure” was the key takeaway, which was reiterated throughout the media, along with the ever-increasing use of myGov warranting greater investment to improve it in terms of expanding available services and making them less fragmented online.

But what wasn’t so front and centre was a report recommendation calling for the acceleration of the “development of Australia’s national digital identity ecosystem”, and that this online scheme, which will involve biometric facial recognition technology, should perhaps be integrated into myGov.

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Green Left: Knitting Nannas challenge anti-protest laws in NSW Supreme Court

Knitting Nannas and supporters gathered outside the NSW Supreme Court on May 10 to support climate activists and Nannas Dominique Jacobs and Helen Kvelde challenge New South Wales undemocratic anti-protest laws, Green Left's Rachel Evans reports. 

This challenged has been filed by the Environmental Defenders Office, who believe that the protest laws are “so broad that a group of people could face serious criminal charges simply by protesting near a railway station and causing people to be redirected around them”.

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NSWCCL calls on the Australian Government to exercise compassion for Rohingya refugees

Australia’s decision in November 2022 to prioritise Myanmar nationals for humanitarian visas sends a clear signal that Australia recognises the humanitarian disaster in post-coup Myanmar and we welcome this decision. However, we believe the Australian Government should seize this moment to also include the Rohingya in this arrangement.

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Stand up, Fight Back: Protecting the right to protest in NSW

Our event at Sydney University Law School brought together a stellar group of activists, students, academics, lawyers and civil society. We know that activism changes history and the right to stand together and peacefully protest must be protected and defended for every citizen not pared back. Peaceful protestors should never face incarceration. Our panel spoke from the perspectives of their lived experiences and generously shared their passion for maintaining our democratic rights to speak freely in society and to hold government and corporations to account through protest action. We thank Jeff, Amal, Kavita Luc and Simon for their time and extraordinary expertise (bio's below)! If you missed this event you can catch up here.

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