NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley says a member of staff from Yallambee Lodge has received a death threat after a 95-year-old great grandmother and resident was tasered by police.
A dementia patient at Yallambee Lodge, Clare Nowland is currently receiving end-of-life care at Cooma Base Hospital. The officer behind the alleged attack, Senior Constable Kristian White, has since been suspended with pay.
“A worker at Yallambee Lodge, who is employed by council, has received at least one death threat already,” Ms Cately said during question time in NSW parliament on Tuesday.
NSW Police have been contacted for comment.
Ms Catley was responding to a query from Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston, who questioned how the minister would ensure the investigation remains “robust and transparent” and would it be made public within 60 days.
Ms Catley said she would not be making any comment while there was a “very serious investigation” underway by NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb.
“Politicising this matter is not going to be of any assistance,” she said.
Ms Catley on Tuesday faced many questions on the conduct of the government in relation to the alleged tasering, including whether she had viewed the police bodycam footage.
“As you know there is an inquiry underway and it is appropriate for those people who are investigating to look at all of the evidence, including footage,” she said, responding to a question from former police minister Paul Toole.
“You also know very well it’s important that the inquiry run its proper course without any prejudice or interference.”
Following one question, Ms Catley turned to the speaker and blasted the line of questioning.
“I just want you to know that I have never come into this place and used it to politicise an investigation and nor would I ever do that,” she said.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Toole criticised the minister for speaking publicly about the death threat.
“I cannot believe a minister would publicly put that out there when I’m sure all of those aged care workers, (and) the community of Cooma are suffering right now; to have a minister stating that publicly is shameful,” he said.
Greens upper house MP Sue Higginson has also called for a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Police, which would make the bodycam footage publicly available.
“The tasering of Ms Nowland has sparked a community outrage that shows how desperately we need police reform,” Ms Higginson said.
“The NSW Police are tasked with keeping our communities and vulnerable people safe. Instead, people are coming forward with alarming examples of ways the NSW Police have acted out of turn and rarely faced consequences – I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extent of the issue.”