Sydney sandwich board activist Danny Lim is considering legal action against the three NSW police officers who arrested him last Friday.
The former local councillor was arrested for offensive behaviour, with witnesses making formal complaints over the force used to cuff the 74-year-old.
Footage of the popular man’s arrest, described by some witnesses as “brutal” and “disgusting”, quickly spread across the Internet. Over the weekend hundreds gathered outside Sydney Police Station to protest over his treatment.
Mr Lim’s lawyer, Bryan Wench, told nine.com.au it “was a very real possibility” they would pursue the three arresting police officers through the courts.
“We are seeking police to withdraw Mr Lim’s charge and then we will consider our next steps,” Mr Wench said.
He was surprised by the “draconian force” police used on Mr Lim.
“He suffered injuries as a consequence of [the arrest].”
Photos purporting to show Mr Lim’s wrists red and bruised were posted on Facebook, after the arrest.
When asked how Mr Lim was doing, Mr Wench said the Sydney icon had been “overwhelmed” by the wave of community support.
“Behind every cloud there is some sunshine,” he said.
Video of Friday morning’s arrest in the harbourside precinct of Barangaroo showed an officer holding a sandwich board sign that reads: “SMILE CVN’T! WHY CVN’T?”.
A NSW Police spokesperson told nine.com.au police had arrested Mr Lim after members of the public reported the sign as “offensive”.
Police asked Mr Lim to remove the sign but “after initially doing so he attempted to take it back,” the spokesperson added.
“He then struggled with the officers.”
Mr Lim was arrested and issued an infringement notice for offensive behaviour.
Footage of the incident recorded on police body cameras has been reviewed, the spokesperson said.
Mr Wench described the placard Mr Lim had been holding as nothing more than “a cheeky sign … spreading peace and love”.
Witness Niki Anstiss labelled the arrest “disgusting” and is among multiple witnesses to have lodged formal complaints over the officers’ conduct.
She filmed parts of the arrest and says the older man was very peaceful and wasn’t aggressive.
“He was screaming and crying ‘don’t take my sign’.”
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