Outpouring of grief after tasered grandmother's death
A grandmother who died after being tasered by police is being remembered as a beloved matriarch and tireless volunteer.
Clare Nowland, 95, died in Cooma Hospital on Wednesday night, with 33 year-old Senior Constable Kristian White facing criminal charges that could be upgraded due to her death.
Dementia Australia said it was devastated and offered condolences to the Nowland family, having received phone calls and emails from people expressing their sorrow.
Mrs Nowland, who weighed 43 kilograms, was confronted by police while walking with a frame and holding a steak knife at the Yallambee Lodge in Cooma.
She was tasered and fell, striking her head.
Mrs Nowland clung to life for a week after sustaining critical injuries including a fractured skull.
Local residents paid respects to a popular woman with eight children, 24 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Mrs Nowland was a respected member of the Southern Highlands community, with mayor Narelle Davis lauding her charity work.
The Nowland family said their mum, nana and great-grandmother died surrounded by love and support.
"We wish to thank the staff at Cooma hospital for their care and support for Clare and our family," they said.
NSW Premier Chris Minns offered condolences to the Nowland family.
"This is a very traumatic event, and would have been particularly sad for that family," he said on Thursday.
"Anything the NSW government can do for the family of Clare Nowland, we will do."
Greens MP Sue Higginson said Mrs Nowland's death was the tragic consequence of a "brutal, heartless system" and the police commissioner should refer the matter to the law enforcement watchdog.
Greens senator David Shoebridge said it was a "national shame" that demanded a transparent investigation.
"We need to seize this moment to ensure the right support is sent to our frail and elderly members of the community when they need help," he said.
"And secondly, to ensure we end the culture across this country of police investigating police."
NSW opposition leader Mark Speakman said the family should be at the front of people's minds.
"You just can't imagine how horrific it must be to lose a great grandmother, a grandmother and a mother in those horrific circumstances," he said.
There has been criticism of Police Commissioner Karen Webb for her handling of the tragedy.
The premier expressed confidence in Ms Webb after the opposition demanded police body-worn video of the incident be released.
"It's very important for police to be able to do their job, and the investigation should not be hindered by political interference," Mr Minns said.
"The police commissioner and the police minister have been in contact with the family, respecting their wishes in relation to the complicated processes of a police investigation, and the next steps in relation to that."
Mr Speakman said there were questions to answer over the time authorities took to confirm the taser was used.
"The difficulty I've had with the way the police commissioner and the police minister have handled the Cooma incident is the initial lack of transparency and timely disclosure of information to the public," he said.