NSW police shoot and kill man in Glebe during welfare check

July 25, 2023
In Glebe where a man was tasered and shot by NSW Police. Photo: Rachel Evans

A 43-year-old man was killed in Sydney’s Inner West on July 19, after he was tasered and shot by NSW Police during a welfare check.

Police were called to Franklyn Street, Glebe, at approximately 11.50 at night on July 19 after reports that the 43-year-old man had harmed himself, according to Assistant Commissioner Tony Cook.

After entering the property, police allege that they were “confronted” by the man, who came towards them with a “large carving knife”.

His prior injuries were “very clearly” visible and the room was lit when officers entered and deployed the taser and firearm according to Cook. The man was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.

It is understood that the man was living in a unit owned by Housing NSW. The Franklyn Street housing estate was at the centre of a three-year campaign after the former NSW government announced it would redevelop the estate — with 70% of the newly-built homes being designated for privately-owned dwellings.

Residents were left unsure about the future of their housing. The plan was abandoned in March.

More than half of all deaths, or serious injuries, in NSW Police operations between 2017–22 were linked to mental health crises.

Police were given $5.5 billion of taxpayer funds in the last NSW budget. Mental health funding across NSW sits at $2.9 billion.

This death follows other questionable use of force by police.

Clare Nowland, a 95-year-old woman with dementia, was killed after being tasered by NSW police in May. Prosecutors allege the officer stated “nah, bugger it” before deploying the taser in the interaction with the great-grandmother.

Earlier last week, CCTV footage showed Proughton McRae, a 50-year-old Aboriginal man, repeatedly punched and kicked by three officers outside Kings Cross Station.

McRae was initially charged with three counts of assaulting police, three of resisting arrest and one of assaulting police causing actual bodily harm and behaving in an offensive manner.

All charges were withdrawn after the footage was put before the court. An internal police investigation cleared an officer involved in the incident of any wrongdoing.  

In May, Constable Ryan Barlow was found guilty of assault after slamming a 16-year-old Indigenous boy to the ground. Magistrate Rami Attia stated that “the risk of danger [to Barlow] … was either minimal or nonexistent”.

The boy’s face, shoulder and hips hit the floor and Barlow then pinned the boy to the floor with his knee. 

There are growing calls for further investigation into the police’s use of force with Greens MP Sue Higginson noting that it is a “systematic” issue and stating that “we need to accept that we actually have a police problem in NSW”.

[This article was first published by Honi Soit and has been reprinted with permission.]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.