Shocking footage captured the moment when six police officers used two sets of handcuffs on a panicked and distressed 81-year-old woman with dementia.
Police body-worn vision shows Rachel Grahame, who weighs just 100 lbs (45 kg), screaming in terror and grief as police restrain her late at night at St Basil’s retirement home in Randwick, Sydney’s eastern suburbs, in October 2020.
The footage has emerged as NSW police were questioned about their use of force after Clare Nowland, 95, was tasered at a retirement home on Wednesday.
Ms Grahame reportedly had a nurse’s badge, lanyard and ID taken away and staff struggled to restrain her when police were called.
The footage shows police struggling with Ms Grahame’s wrists and legs as officers ask her to ‘calm down’.
Police officers can be seen restraining Mrs. Grahame’s arms and legs. The 81-year-old spent six weeks in hospital after the incident
‘Why? That’s nonsense,” she replied.
“Because we don’t want to hold you,” one officer said.
Mrs. Grahame is seen telling them not to hold her until someone insisted, “We will if you act like this.”
‘Hi! Hi!’ Ms Grahame cried out as handcuffs were put on her wrists and officers grabbed her frail looking arms.
She is seen calling one of the police officers a “big brute” before crying out in pain.
A pair of handcuffs were taken off because it was said to be too tight.
Another couple, which police told her was looser, remained on her wrists for more than 20 minutes.
The shocking incident, which lasted nearly an hour, prompted Ms Grahame’s family to sue NSW Police in state district court.
The family charged officers with assault, assault and false imprisonment.
The police settled and paid the family damages in November 2021, The protector reported.
Rachel’s daughter Emma Grahame revealed that police were regularly called to the nursing home.
“My mother’s former ‘home’ called the ambos or police all the time, when they couldn’t handle it, because they had no training and were understaffed,” she tweeted.
Officers seized Mrs. Tight hold of Grahame’s weak-looking arms (pictured) as she screamed several times during the ordeal
The footage has emerged as NSW police were questioned about their use of force after Clare Nowland, 95, was tasered at a retirement home on Wednesday
“Remember, the police don’t have to come or do anything once they see the situation.”
She made the decision to go public because of her outrage at the revelations that police had tasered 95-year-old Ms Nowland in Cooma last week.
“It just showed me that the police have learned nothing from the actions we took against them,” Grahame told The Guardian.
The family obtained the video and police notes of the incident through freedom of information laws.
The notes state that police were told by facility staff that Ms. Grahame was “aggressive” and snatched a nurse’s security pass.
Police notes reportedly stated that when they arrived, she “lashed out an officer with her arm and hit the officer twice on the arm.”
The demented man spent six weeks in St. Vincent’s Hospital after the ordeal.
The case also led to a complaint against St Basil’s care home.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission launched an investigation and described the actions of police and staff as ‘abhorrent’ and penalized St Basil’s.
A spokesperson for NSW Police said: ‘This was a civil matter that has been resolved. As such, it would be inappropriate to comment.”
The footage comes as a police commissioner came under fire during a disastrous press conference after Ms Nowland was tasered by a senior officer.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb first sparked outrage on Saturday after claiming it was ‘not necessary’ to view bodycam footage of the incident.
Her response came after questions were raised about police use of force against an elderly woman who needed the help of a walker to get around.
Ms Nowland was ‘armed’ with a steak knife and moved at a ‘slow pace’ before being tasered and left in critical condition.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb first sparked outrage on Saturday after claiming it was ‘not necessary’ to view bodycam footage of the incident
Commissioner Webb has come under fire for a second time for her comments about police responding to incidents at retirement homes.
At a press conference on Saturday, Commissioner Webb said it is not common practice for police to go to a nursing home to assist staff with their residents.
“In my experience, it’s quite rare that we get called into a nursing home,” Commissioner Webb said.
“It’s not something we come across on a regular basis.”
Her claims have been quashed by an expert and senior care adviser, who said it was ‘standard protocol’ for staff to call the police if an assault was reported.
Paul Sadler, former general manager of the Aged and Community Care Providers Association, appeared to question the commissioner’s claims.
“It’s more common than the police commissioner knew,” Sadler told the ABC.
“That’s the usual protocol when there’s a report of assault.”
Police are reviewing body-worn CCTV footage of the “confrontational” incident.