An iconic Australian thrown to the ground by police during a violent arrest at a busy shopping centre in shocking scenes that horrified Australia has spent the night in hospital in a ‘serious’ condition.
Shocked witnesses watched on in horror as Danny Lim, 77 was handcuffed by two officers in the Queen Victoria Building, in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday.
The Malaysian-born provocateur could be heard screaming ‘help’ as the officers placed his hands behind his back and throw him down onto the ground.
Police ended the arrest after Mr Lim was injured in the violent struggle and had to be rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital.
A photo emerged of a tired and wearied Mr Lim sporting a smile for the camera while lying in hospital on Tuesday night.
He was pictured sporting a neck brace and a bloodied cheekbone. Scans have revealed bleeding on the brain.
Danny Lim (pictured) still managed a smile in hospital on Tuesday night, despite his injuries and bleeding on his brain
Mr Lim is in a ‘serious’ condition suffering from black eye and subdural haematoma, according to high profile criminal defence lawyer Chris Murphy.
Subdural haematoma is a serious condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain.
‘For now, I am very concerned about the subdural damage to his skull,’ Mr Murphy tweeted.
Mr Murphy’s staff have spent the night by Mr Lim’s hospital bedside ‘in tears.’
‘A kind and caring woman from office is with Danny Lim comforting,’ the lawyer added.
‘Bleeding on the brain has shown up in the first scan and doctors are monitoring to see how that unfolds overnight. It may get better or get worse. A neurosurgeon will make decisions in the morning. #hope.’
Mr Lim is known for walking Sydney’s streets and standing outside train stations wearing signs preaching the importance of love and happiness.
NSW Police has launched an inquiry into the incident.
Police say officers were called to the scene by security guards after Mr Lim allegedly failed to leave the building when asked.
Footage posted online shows Danny Lim being arrested by two police officers on Tuesday
‘An independent review will examine the actions of police during the arrest of a 78-year-old man in Sydney’s CBD earlier today,’ the statement said.
‘Shortly before 11am (Tuesday 22 November 2022), officers from Sydney City Police Area Command were called by security to a shopping complex on George Street, Sydney, after a male had failed to leave the building when asked.
‘Police will allege the man was subsequently issued with a move on direction by officers and failed to comply.
‘The man’s arrest was discontinued after he struggled with police and sustained an injury to his cheekbone. He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital.
‘As inquiries into the incident continue, an independent review has been launched, which will examine the actions of police during the incident.
Mr Murphy slammed the arrest of the ‘innocent man’ as ‘heavy handed’, with many of Mr Lim’s fans in agreement.
‘Simply outrageous,’ one person commented.
‘More outrageous is the total lack of interest or concern by the public, passing by [the] incident. Head/face first to tiled concrete floor, unconscionable.’
But not everyone agreed.
‘Danny you could have made it easy on yourself by not “resisting arrest “ You only have yourself to blame. Otherwise I hope you get better,’ one person wrote.
Mr Lim (pictured with his chihuahua-Pomeranian Smarty) is an icon around Sydney, known for walking around wearing signs urging others to be kind and happy
Another said: ‘This is absolutely horrible. Shameful.’
‘This is f***ing appalling and heavy handedness,’ someone else wrote.
Mr Lim is known for parading around Sydney in a sandwich board inscribed with social and political messages, with his beloved chihuahua-Pomeranian Smarty by his side.
Tuesday’s incident is not the first time the elderly activist has been at the centre of a viral video involving police.
In January 2019, Mr Lim was filmed being arrested while wearing a sign that read ‘SMILE CVN’T! WHY CVN’T?’.
His arrest sparked a massive protest outside the NSW police Sydney command centre at Day Street in the city days later as hundreds of his supporters flocked to the station to show their support.
Mr Lim, who was left bloodied and bruised in the incident, was fined $500 but took the matter to court where a judge found, while the term ‘cvnt’ was cheeky, it was not criminally offensive.
In overturning the fine, magistrate Jacqueline Milledge, who was highly critical of the arresting officers’ behaviour, said the law was concerned with what would offend the ‘hypothetical reasonable person’.
Pictured: Footage shows Mr Lim being arrested by officers in Barangaroo in January 2019
‘It’s not someone who is thin-skinned, who is easily offended,’ she said Downing Centre Local Court in August 2019.
‘It’s someone who can ride out some of the crudities of life. (The sign is) provocative and cheeky but it is not offensive.’
Ms Milledge said she personally didn’t like some signs and ads that played on the c-word or f-word.
But she noted the ‘overwhelming opinion’ of people in the public square at the time of Mr Lim’s arrest and said he meant no harm and was not harmful or offensive.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia days after the incident three years ago, Mr Lim said he could not believe he was arrested.
‘It very shocked me a lot,’ he said.
‘It shouldn’t have happened at all.’
‘A lot of people hugged me’: Why beloved sandwich board activist Danny Lim, 74, returned to the streets of Sydney calling for ‘unconditional love’ days after his violent arrest sparked fury
By Stephen Johnson for Daily Mail Australia
Eccentric Sydney sandwich board activist Danny Lim and his dog have returned to the same spot where three police officers used force to arrest him four days ago.
The 74-year-old Malaysian-born provocateur appeared with his 16-year-old chihuahua-Pomeranian mutt Smarty at Barangaroo in the city on Tuesday morning, this time wearing a different sign.
‘Unconditional love. B kind to animals our voiceless children,’ it said.
Mr Lim told Daily Mail Australia his dog Smarty, who also accompanied him to the police protest, was a companion animal
The former Strathfield councillor told Daily Mail Australia he was greeted with hugs of support from passersby during the two hours he spent at the bottom of the escalators, where three police officers had arrested him on Friday.
‘A lot of people come and hug me and thank me,’ he said.
Mr Lim, who moved to Australia in 1963 from Malaysia, said he wanted to ‘show I’m alright’ by appearing at Barangaroo for two hours, from 7am on Tuesday.
The father of two daughters was, however, in shock from the brutal arrest on Friday morning, after police had asked him to move on as he held a sign with swear words.
While Mr Lim has flagged legal action against the New South Wales Police Force, he said he wasn’t angry at law enforcement officers for apprehending him and taking his dog.
‘I don’t blame the police. They are doing a good job,’ he said, but declining to answer questions on possible legal action.
An image of Mr Lim standing in the exact spot where three police officers forcefully arrested him on Friday was posted to a closed Facebook group, Irish Around Sydney.
‘He’s back. Yessss!!!,’ Aimee Muschamp wrote in a social media post.
His arrest sparked a large protest on Sunday outside the police’s Sydney command centre at Day Street in the city