The NSW government has been accused of a cover up after it blocked a bid to release body-cam footage from the police officer who allegedly tasered 95-year-old grandmother Clare Nowland.
Nowland died in hospital Wednesday night, hours after the officer involved was charged with causing grievous bodily harm.
Senior Constable Kristian White, 33, allegedly tasered Nowland at an aged care home in Cooma about 4am last Wednesday.
Nowland, who weighted only 43kg and was suffering with dementia, was reportedly clutching a knife, and holding on to a walking frame at the time.
The Opposition yesterday demanded police release the body-worn footage of the incident to ensure transparency.
Liberal MP Damien Tudehope said:
“It is not good enough for the police say: ‘I can take and release body cam footage in circumstances where I can make arrests all over the place.’ But when it does not suit them, that is when the cover-up starts.
“That is when we lose confidence in the transparency of the operation of this system.”
But Minister for Agriculture and Regional NSW Tara Moriarty insisted that releasing the footage would amount to “political interference”.
“The critical incident investigation is being led by some of the State’s best investigators in the homicide squad. We need to let the investigation run its course,” she said.
As Moriarty accused the Opposition of “playing politics” the Opposition shouted accusations of a “cover up”.
Greens MP Sue Higginson said the footage should be made public “as soon as possible”, noting that police had no qualms about releasing footage when it concerned anyone other than a police officer.
Police Commissioner Karen Webb has not only refused to make the footage public, but she has also so far refused to view it herself.