Australian police this Friday are investigating the actions of an officer who tased a 95-year-old woman inside a nursing home who was carrying a knife and is in a “critical condition”.
Peter Cotter, assistant police commissioner for the New South Wales region, told a press conference in Sydney, “No officer, none of us are above the law. All of our actions will be investigated.”
The incident happened on Wednesday when police went to the Yallambi Nursing Home in the town of Cooma, about 430 km south-west of Sydney, in response to an emergency call.
Cotter said a patient, who suffers from dementia, was “armed” with a steak knife in a room of the residence.
When the elderly woman, identified as Claire Nowland, refused to drop the knife and “slowly” approached the officers in her walker, one of the officers fired his Taser to subdue her.
Due to the electric shock, the grandmother, who weighed about 43 kg and was 1.57 cm tall, fell and hit her head on the ground.
The woman was transferred to a hospital where she is “in critical condition”, the police command explained, adding that the old woman lost consciousness several times.
Cotter said members of the homicide department are participating in an investigation into the response of the police officer, who has twelve years of experience, to determine whether he had any responsibility in the incident.
The officer’s actions have once again highlighted the controversial use of Tasers by Australian police, questioned by rights-guarantee organizations such as Amnesty International.
In 2012, Brazilian student Roberto Curti lost his life in Sydney after receiving 14 electric shocks from police, in an incident in which a court in the country found four officers guilty of excessive use of force in 2014. which resulted in the death of Curti, who suffered a psychotic episode after taking a psychotropic substance.