Family of woman who died after being Tasered say NSW police had assured them she’d be cared for | Australian police and policing

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The family of a woman who died after being shot with a Taser and bean bag rounds in Newcastle last week say New South Wales police had previously “assured” them she would be looked after by medical professionals.

Krista Kach, 47, died in John Hunter hospital on Thursday night after officers forced their way into her apartment after a nine-hour standoff. Police claim Kach had earlier threatened officers with an axe.

“We told the police in no uncertain terms that she was not well that day and she needed medical help,” her family said in a statement on Monday.

“Our mother was not a dangerous person, she has lived through difficult circumstances but she was a loving and capable person who cared for people and her family.

“The only person in danger when the police broke into our mother’s home and the many hours leading up to that moment was our mother.”

The family said what happened on Thursday was “a disturbing and heartbreaking response by the police to a vulnerable person who had been told that she would soon be homeless”.

NSW police said they were responding to reports that Kach was threatening people with a weapon.

Police said Kach barricaded herself inside the Stockton apartment and she was shot with the “less than lethal options” of a Taser and impact munitions after tactical officers forced their way inside at about 9.45pm on Thursday.

Kach’s family on Monday called for an independent investigation into her death.

“When the police informed our family that our mother had died they did not disclose how. It was only when we heard on the radio we learned that the police had discharged weapons on her.”

The police force had assured them that they would look after their mother and that she would be cared for by “qualified medical professionals”.

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“She had experienced some mental distress in her life because her life was quite tough, but she was well connected with her own health and her family were advocating for her wellbeing with the police prior to the shooting incident,” the family said.

NSW police are investigating Kach’s death internally. It will be overseen by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission. NSW police were contacted for comment.

Clare Nowland, 95, died in hospital in May after she was allegedly Tasered by Sen Const Kristian White after she was found in Yallambee Lodge nursing home in Cooma, NSW, while carrying a knife.

Prosecutors allege the officer’s actions were “grossly disproportionate” and “excessive” given the great-grandmother’s age and ability, according to court documents.

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