Please note: This story contains reference to someone who has died.
An Aboriginal man who was pepper sprayed and tasered by police in New South Wales has died.
NSW Police declared the death a critical incident and homicide detectives from the State Crime Command are investigating the incident after the 27-year-old died in hospital.
NSW Police say that two officers from Oxley Police District were called to a home in Herbert Street, Gunnedah on Thursday night after concerns were raised about the behaviour of the 27-year-old man.
“Police will allege the man became aggressive when officers attempted to speak with him,” said NSW Police in a statement.
“OC spray and a Taser were deployed during a struggle with the man before he lost consciousness.”
“First aid was rendered to the man at the scene before he was taken by NSW Ambulance paramedics to Gunnedah Hospital where he died a short time later.”
A female police officer was treated at hospital for a bite wound to her right forearm and an injury to her left knee.
The investigation into the incident will be subject to independent review.
Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe took to Twitter, labelling the death the ninth death in custody Australia-wide since March.
“NINE Blak deaths in custody since the start of March,” she wrote.
“Heartbroken again. This is a national crisis.”
NINE Blak deaths in custody since the start of March. Heartbroken again. This is a national crisis. https://t.co/9EYGLH3diA
— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@lidia__thorpe) May 21, 2021
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS) also expressed their condolences via Twitter.
“Devastating. Our thoughts are with the man’s family,” the service wrote.
By Rachael Knowles