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.
NSW Council of Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas described the use of the Taser as “overreach” and said police “must cease to deploy tasers on vulnerable people who are experiencing dementia or a mental health crisis”.
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