Police defend handling of case after 95-year-old Tasered
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has defended her decision to not front the media over the Tasering of a 95-year-old aged care resident until three days after the incident, saying she had to wait for "facts to become clear".
Clare Nowland, 95, remains in hospital after she was Tasered while holding a steak knife at Yallambee Lodge in Cooma on Wednesday.
It's understood police used their Tasers after struggling to disarm the elderly resident, who was using a walking frame and "moving at a slow pace".
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On Saturday, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she didn't speak to the public about the incident earlier because the big family needed to be notified first.
"Then we had to wait for the investigators to get onto the ground in Cooma, and those investigators have come from Sydney, and we have had to wait for those facts to become clear to us," Webb said.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter spoke to media about the incident yesterday.
Webb said she had not seen the footage from the officers' body-worn cameras of the incident, nor does she plan on watching it.
She also said she was "not sure" why there are calls for the footage to be publicly released.
"Firstly I am not sure why they would want to see it," she said.
"Body-worn video is subject to legislative requirements around the surveillance devices act and other things, so it is not routine and we don't intend to release it, unless there is a process at the end of this that would allow it to be released."
Cotter yesterday described the video as confronting.
Webb said she had sat with the family at the hospital yesterday to talk through the process and hear about Nowland's "rich and full" life.
"She has had eight children, she has got 24 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and four further expected this year," Webb said.
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"She is a keen golfer, and very community-minded, and cared a lot for her community and people in her community."
Webb said the family would want answers but it would take time, adding she had complete faith in the investigation into the incident.
"The best detectives in New South Wales are on this case," Webb said.
"They have come from the homicide squad and it is being overseen by the law enforcement conduct commission so I have every confidence that it is being handled in the appropriate manner."
A critical incident investigation has been launched and will be led by the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad, as is standard.
The constable's actions will be examined from a criminal perspective, but Webb said it was too early to speculate on whether charges will be laid.
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