GoFundMe storm erupts over beloved Aussie who cracked his head when he was brutally arrested by police – as his furious lawyer hits out at mysterious fundraiser
- A huge GoFundMe for Sydney’s Danny Lim, 78, was made without his knowledge
- Mr Lim was left with a severe brain injury after a brutal arrest at 11am on Tuesday
- His lawyer, Chris Murphy, has since been in contact with the fund’s organiser
- The LECC has announced it will monitor the police investigation into the arrest
A GoFundMe for beloved Sydney activist Danny Lim has raised more than $18,000 in 24 hours – but Mr Lim had no clue it existed.
Representing Mr Lim is high-profile Sydney criminal defence lawyer Chris Murphy, who said the 78-year-old man had no knowledge of the fund’s creation.
‘Danny Lim has no association with this fundraiser and no contact with the organiser,’ Mr Murphy tweeted on Thursday.
Danny Lim was brutally arrested and forced to the ground of the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday morning (pictured, Mr Lim on the ground during the arrest)
Mr Lim and his dog Smarty (above) are well known around Sydney for spreading messages of love, peace and happiness
‘Danny is fully covered by Medicare and on an age pension. He is not seeking funds. I am not charging him and never will.’
He then shared the GoFundMe’s description with the simple hashtag: untrue.
Mr Lim was walking towards Town Hall station from Sydney CBD’s Queen Victoria Building on Tuesday when he was forced to the ground by two police officers.
He was hospitalised for two days with a ‘subdural haematoma’ – a bruise between the surface of the brain and the skull.
Mr Lim was pictured in a wheelchair and neck brace leaving St Vincent’s Hospital on Thursday morning.
The brutal arrest saw a massive outcry from Sydneysiders who recognise Mr Lim for his iconic sandwich-board posters spreading messages of love, peace and happiness around the city.
A GoFundMe (above) for Mr Lim’s recovery was initially started without his knowledge but his lawyer, Chris Murphy, has since been able to contact the organiser and reach agreement
An expert claims footage of Mr Lim’s arrest shows the officer on his left purposely toppled the 78-year-old man by sticking out his leg (above)
Supporters desperate to help Mr Lim through his recovery quickly latched onto the GoFundMe, which initially promised to cover Mr Lim’s medical fees.
To midday on Thursday, the fundraiser accumulated almost 553 donations worth $18,000.
Many donors also signed an online ‘get well soon’ card for Mr Lim.
Mr Murphy was able to get in contact with the fundraiser organiser on Thursday afternoon where they agreed Mr Lim would be able to access the money to use ‘as he chooses’.
The amended fund description reads: ‘Danny is going to need substantial time to recover. Let’s show Danny how much he is loved and help him with his recovery.
Mr Lim is famous for his sandwich-style signs (above) and is often greeted with high-fives and selfies while travelling around Sydney
Mr Lim was headed to Town Hall train station when he was approached by police on Tuesday (pictured, Mr Lim at Town Hall station on Saturday)
‘All of the money will be given directly to Danny to do whatever he chooses.
‘Danny’s lawyer is not charging anything to Danny so none of this will go to legal fees.
‘It is intended that Danny will be able to use it for the things he needs in recovery. Things that make him comfortable.’
Mr Murphy deleted his tweets once the fundraiser was fixed.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the organiser of the GoFundMe for comment.
Meanwhile, NSW Police have bowed to protesters’ calls for an independent investigation into the arrest.
Mr Lim (pictured after the arrest) was left with a blackeye, bloody cheek and a ‘subdural haematoma’ – a bruise between the surface of the brain and the skull – from the arrest
Mr Lim (above) was released from hospital on Thursday after his arrest on Tuesday morning
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission announced on Thursday afternoon that it will be monitoring the NSW Police investigation.
‘The Commission is using its real-time monitoring powers to closely follow the NSWPF’s misconduct investigation into the police contact with Mr Danny Lim,’ it said in a statement.
‘This includes considering the force NSW Police Force officers used as part of Mr Lim’s arrest.
‘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 Commission will continue to closely monitor the progress of the police investigation of police contact with Mr Lim.’
Mr Lim’s supporters held mass protests outside Sydney CBD police stations to call for an independent inquiry into his arrest (pictured, protesters on Wednesday)
The LECC holds unique powers that allow it to sit in on all interviews for the investigation, access files and databases, analyse footage and request progress reports.
The move is supported by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet who said on Thursday ‘strong action’ needs to be taken.
‘I believe having the oversight of the LECC is entirely appropriate,’ Mr Perrottet told reporters.
‘If any wrong things occurred then I expect the strongest action. The LECC has a purpose. It’s an independent body.
‘It will oversee that investigation. I believe that’s the appropriate course of action.’
It follows a mass protest at Sydney CBD police stations on Wednesday afternoon.
Protesters on Wednesday (above) called out the manner in which the two officers arrested the elderly Mr Lim
Hundreds of Mr Lim’s supporters flocked to the city armed with signs mimicking his sandwich style and signature phrase, ‘cvn’t’.
Mr Lim and his 17-year-old dog Smarty have held a special place in the hearts of Sydneysiders for several years.
Mr Murphy said Mr Lim was walking along the corridor connecting the QVB to Town Hall train station when police approached him.
‘He was on his way home, but paused at a telephone shop because he knew the owner,’ Mr Murphy told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He’s a chatter, he wanted to have a chat!
‘The owner was serving a customer so Mr Lim was waiting outside when police arrived.’
Mr Lim is often asked for selfies (above) and is well known around Sydney for his positive messages
NSW Police regulatory body LECC announced it will monitor the police investigation into Mr Lim’s violent arrest (above)
Mr Murphy said several shop owners witnessed the incident and told lawyers Mr Lim was never asked to leave by anyone around the phone shop.
One distressed witness captured footage that was given to an expert to analyse.
The analysis, which was revealed to Daily Mail Australia, claims the officer on Mr Lim’s left deliberately tripped him.
‘That leg sweep was very dangerous,’ the expert insight revealed to Daily Mail Australia reads.
‘They both had his arms so he couldn’t break his fall. They did not attempt to save his fall either.’
The move is reportedly part of standard police procedure.
Witnesses of the arrest (above) were very distressed to see Mr Lim injured and said the officers’ actions were ‘unnecessary’
NSW Police released a statement on Tuesday night saying Mr Lim’s arrest will be investigated.
‘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, officers from Sydney City Police Area Command were called by security to a shopping complex on George Street 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.
‘As inquiries into the incident continue, an independent review has been launched, which will examine the actions of police during the incident.’
WHO IS DANNY LIM?
Mr Lim says he was orphaned at just five months old and was raised by his Chinese grandmother in a small village about 90km away from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur.
As part of of Chinese ethnic minority, Mr Lim grew up surrounded by racism and institutionalised discrimination.
He moved to Sydney’s Summer Hill in 1963 on a student visa but found he was again surrounded by racist attitudes.
Mr Lim studied and worked as an electrical technician before retiring at 59 to pursue a career in politics.
In 2003 he was elected onto Strathfield’s council and just one year later, in 2004, held his first ever sandwich board protest during a corruption scandal.
It read: ‘Strathfield Council, have some morals! Stand down!’
He worked as a councillor for eight years, resigning in 2011 after a series of controversies led to voters making death threats against him and his pup Smarty, then six years old.
During his time in office he made more than 100 motions, became the first councillor in more than 120 years to win a no confidence vote against the mayor and faced down 18 breach of conduct claims.
He also infamously won the Sexist Remarks Ernie Award for telling a Judge to buy a vibrator so she could ‘stop screwing with the people of Strathfield and screw herself instead’.
In 2016 he attempted to reignite his political career by running for federal senate.
By this time Mr Lim was a familiar face around Sydney and known for his signs advocating love, peace and smiling.
His campaign focused ‘welfare, not warfare’ and claimed everyone should have a ‘fair go, fair dinkum’.
Mr Lim has had several run-ins with Sydney police.
In January 2019 he was arrested for wearing a sign reading ‘SMILE CVN’T! WHY CVN’T’ but was cleared of charges after a judge found his sign was cheeky, but not illegal.