SYDNEY — A 95-year-old woman who was tasered by police at an Australian care home, sparking a public outcry, has died.
Clare Nowland was critically injured after police responded to reports she was wandering around the house with a steak knife at about 4:00 a.m. last Wednesday.
New South Wales Police (NSW) said she died “surrounded by family and loved ones”.
The officer who tasered Clare Nowland has been charged with assault.
The 33-year-old senior constable will face court in early July on charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
He remains suspended from duty with pay while investigations continue.
Clare Nowland lived in a care home in the town of Cooma about 114km (71 miles) south of Canberra, Australia’s capital city.
NSW Police said their thoughts and condolences “remain with those who were lucky enough to know, love, and be loved by Clare Nowland during a life she led hallmarked by family, kindness and community.”
Last week, police said she was “armed” with a steak knife. On Friday, they confirmed that she required a walking frame to move and the officer discharged his taser after she began approaching “at a slow pace”.
Clare Nowland is believed to have suffered a fractured skull and a serious brain bleed after falling and hitting her head during the incident.
It has prompted calls for a state parliamentary inquiry and the release of police bodycam vision of the confrontation.
In a statement, Clare Nowland’s family said she was a “well respected, much loved and a giving member of her local community” and the “loving and gentle-natured matriarch of the Nowland family.”
They have asked for privacy following her death. BBC