Culture

Sydney Icon Danny Lim Released From Hospital After Violent Encounter With NSW Police

As Lim returns home to rest, more details have emerged about the circumstances of his encounter with the police.

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Local Sydney activist Danny Lim has been released from St Vincent hospital following a violent confrontation with police that left the 78-year-old Malaysian-Chinese immigrant with an internal brain bleed and facial injuries.

Lim’s legal representative Chris Murphy announced that his client had been cleared to return home with a treatment plan in place to monitor Lim’s condition over the coming months.

More details are emerging from Lim’s encounter with NSW Police which a police spokesperson summarised as taking place after “[Lim] was subsequently issued with a move on direction by officers and failed to comply”.

The elderly man who suffers from PTSD was approached by police officers at the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) on Tuesday after staff at the shopping centre asked Lim to leave the premises.

While the QVB has declined repeated requests for clarification on the circumstances that led staff to call the police, it is known that Lim was wearing his signature sandwich board which read “SMILE CVNT! WHY CVNT?” at the time of the incident.

This placard had resulted in a previous confrontation with police in 2019, who issued Lim with a $500 fine for offensive behaviour. Lim later had the charge thrown out in court, with the judge rebuking the police for their heavy-handed response, declaring that no “reasonable person” could take offence to Lim’s sign.

A witness to the arrest on Tuesday told The Guardian that they offered to call an ambulance for a visibly upset Lim, who requested medical intervention after being approached by officers, declaring his PTSD symptoms were being triggered by the encounter.

“I told them to ring an ambulance,” Lim said. “They refused.”

According to the witness, officers cautioned the bystander with the charge of “hindering an arrest” for interfering in the interaction. An ambulance was called nonetheless after officers proceeded with the arrest, tripping Lim while his hands were restrained behind his back resulting in the 78-year-old smashing his head violently on the tile floor.

While NSW Police initially promised an independent investigation into the arrest, a police spokesperson has since confirmed that the incident will be treated as a complaint and examined internally. Politicians ranging from Sydney Mayor Clover Moore to Greens politician David Shoebridge have raised concerns about the arrest with NSW Police Minister Paul Toole, who recently confirmed he was satisfied with an internal review of Lim’s arrest.

A snap protest was called yesterday at the Surry Hills Police station, where activists and supporters of Lim came together to protest his treatment by police while calling for the responding officers to be suspended without pay while an independent investigation was conducted.

Lim’s lawyer Chris Murphy has offered his legal services pro-bono should Lim decide to challenge NSW Police in court.