Abused grandmother: Single word in NSW Police statement sparks uproar

A single word in the official police statement announcing the abused grandmother’s death at the age of 95 sparks an uproar: ‘It’s better not to say anything’

A single word in the police statement announcing the death of grandmother Clare Nowland who was shot at – “peaceful” – has sparked outrage on social media as she died after allegedly being struck by a 50,000 volt taser blast had been.

NSW Police announced the death of Ms Nowland, 95, on Wednesday night, a week after she was allegedly verbally abused by Chief Constable Kristian White at the elderly care facility for dementia sufferers in Cooma in the Snowy Mountains.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm tonight the death of 95-year-old Clare Nowland in Cooma,” the official statement read on Facebook.

“Ms Nowland passed away peacefully in hospital just after 7pm this evening, surrounded by family and loved ones who have asked for privacy at this sad and difficult time.

The official statement said Clare Nowland (above), 95, had passed away

The official statement said Clare Nowland (above), 95, had passed away “peacefully” – after being tasered by a New South Wales police officer a week earlier

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to those who were fortunate enough to know, love and be loved by Ms. Nowland in a life of family, kindness and community.”

The statement’s familiar language has caused an uproar on social media – something police appear to have tried to avoid by shutting down comments on the post.

But it was the word “peaceful” that aroused the greatest anger.

After the shock, Ms Nowland fell over, hit her head and suffered a brain haemorrhage, according to the police version of events. She then spent a week in terminal care before she passed away.

“To call this ‘peacefully passed’ is macabre,” activist Holly Creenaune tweeted.

“According to NSW Police, Ms Nowland ‘passed away peacefully surrounded by her family’ after being violently verbally abused by New South Wales Police,” said Michele Colvin McKenzie.

“None of it was ‘peaceful,'” said Dr. Bianca Fileborn.

The death of Ms Nowland has sparked the first crisis in Commissioner Karen Webb's leadership

The death of Ms Nowland has sparked the first crisis in Commissioner Karen Webb’s leadership

A fourth Twitter user said: “Passed away peacefully” (after being stunned by a New South Wales police officer and crushing her skull as she fell)… but okay.

Another said: “If only you could have ended your long life in peace.” If only the police were taught how to deal with more situations “peacefully”.

A sixth said: “There are times when it’s better not to say anything and if your organization is (then involved) this is one of them.”

White were charged with three felonies, including negligent grievous bodily harm, assault and grievous bodily harm.

It is understood he will plead not guilty.

Janice Dean

Janice Dean is a WSTPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Janice Dean joined WSTPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: janicedean@wstpost.com.

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