Danny Lim released from hospital after clash with NSW police

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

Local Sydney activist Danny Lim has been released from St Vincent’s Hospital after a violent confrontation with the police which 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 meeting with NSW Police, which a police spokesman summarized as taking place after “[Lim] was subsequently issued with a step on the guideline 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 mall staff asked Lim to leave the premises.

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

This poster had resulted in a previous confrontation with the police in 2019, who issued Lim with a $500 fine for offensive behaviour. Lim later had the charge thrown out in court, where the judge reprimanded the police for their heavy-handed response, declaring that no “reasonable person” could take offense at 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 and stating that his PTSD symptoms were triggered by the encounter.

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

According to the witness, the officers warned the bystander on the charge of “obstructing an arrest” for interfering with the interaction. An ambulance was nevertheless called after the officers proceeded with the arrest and tripped Lim while his hands were restrained behind his back, resulting in the 78-year-old smashing his head violently on the tiled floor.

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

A quick protest was called yesterday at 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 carried out.

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

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