Senior Asian Australian protestor sustains brain bleed, neck injury during arrest

Danny Lim, a popular Malaysian-born Australian activist, has been released from the hospital after sustaining injuries while being arrested in Sydney’s Central Business District earlier this week.

Lim, 78, is known for protesting peacefully on the streets with signs written on sandwich boards. He is also a former politician who served as councilor for the municipality of Strathfield from 2008 to 2012.

At around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sydney police attempted to arrest Lim outside a shop in the Queen Victoria Building after receiving a complaint that he would not leave the area. A now-viral video shows the moment two deputies tried to put Lim in handcuffs, resulting in a struggle that saw the elderly protester falling to the ground.

The incident reportedly left Lim with a fractured skull, brain bleeding, a neck injury and broken facial bones, which landed him at St. Vincent’s Hospital for the next two days. On Thursday, he was discharged with a neck brace and a plan for “ongoing monitoring,” according to the ABC.

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Lim’s arrest, which was officially “discontinued” due to the ensuing situation, sparked a rally outside the Sydney Police Center in Surry Hills on Wednesday. Chris Murphy, a high-profile lawyer, reportedly vowed to represent Lim “at no cost” if the matter escalates to court.

Police on Tuesday said an “independent review” has been initiated to examine the actions of the deputies involved in the incident. The next day, they said the investigation was “triaged as a complaint and allocated to an investigator from another command.”

A witness told Guardian Australia that Lim repeatedly asked the arresting officers to call an ambulance. Before he was thrown to the ground, the protester also informed them that he had post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the witness.

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The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) on Thursday said it would utilize its “real time monitoring powers” to oversee the investigation. It was established in 2017 as a permanent independent investigative body to monitor the force.

“If the commission has any concerns about the NSW police force’s conduct of the investigation, the commission has the power to step in and take over that investigation itself,” the LECC said in a statement. “The commission will continue to closely monitor the progress of the police investigation of police contact with Mr. Lim.”

Lim was also arrested in 2019 for wearing a sign that said: “SMILE CVN'T! WHY CVN'T?” He won in court and was consequently allowed to wear the trademarked messages, as per 9News.

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Featured Image via @chrismurphys