December 9, 2022

Danny Lim arrest: NSW premier expects ‘strongest action’ if probe uncovers police wrongdoing | Sydney

New South Wales police is under pressure to conduct a thorough investigation into the “discontinued” arrest of Danny Lim that left the elderly protester bloodied, with Dominic Perrottet expecting the “strongest action” to be taken if any wrongdoing is uncovered.

Police officers from another command are investigating the matter, which occurred in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday. The investigation will be overseen by the state’s independent law enforcement conduct body.

Guardian Australia on Thursday revealed a witness claimed Lim repeatedly asked officers to call an ambulance and informed them he had post-traumatic stress disorder before he was thrown to the ground and bloodied.

The moment police arrest 78-year-old protester Danny Lim, leaving him bloodied – video

The allegation was consistent with the version of events Lim outlined to Guardian Australia from hospital.

Lim was released from St Vincents hospital on Thursday morning after being kept in for two nights. Doctors found a bleed on his brain and neck injuries after earlier fears of broken facial bones and cuts.

On Thursday the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) said it would use its “real time monitoring powers” to oversee the internal police investigation, warning it could take it over if it had any concerns.

The LECC was set up in 2017 as a permanent independent investigative commission to oversee 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.”

The LECC said it had powers to be present as an observer during interviews, request progress updates and access documents and footage related to the investigation.

On Thursday the premier said it was right for the body to oversee the police investigation.

“Having the oversight of the LECC is entirely appropriate,” Perrottet said.

“If the wrong thing has occurred then I expect the strongest action. The LECC has a purpose. It’s an independent board that will oversee that investigation. I believe that’s the appropriate course of action.”

Lim’s lawyer, Chris Murphy, said there was a plan in place for the 78-year-old’s care after his release from hospital.

Danny Lim has been released from hospital with a plan in place for ongoing monitoring,” he said.

“Thank you staff at St Vincent’s Darlinghurst for the loving care. Thank you to the community for your love and support, hope to get our happy icon back with his smiles and his signs.”

It is understood Lim is now resting and recovering at home.

A police spokesperson has said officers had been called to the QVB about 11am on Tuesday after receiving reports that Lim was refusing to leave the building.

“Police will allege the man was subsequently issued with a move on direction by officers and failed to comply,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“The man’s arrest was discontinued after he struggled with police and sustained an injury to his cheekbone.”

Police initially said they would be reviewing body-worn camera footage of the encounter and announced an independent investigation.

Less than 24 hours later, an updated statement confirmed the arrest would be investigated internally. It was being treated as a “complaint”, according to a police spokesperson, and as such would be investigated by another station.

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