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Cecily McMillan found guilty of assault police in Occupy Trial

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, a New York court found Cecily McMillan guilty of second degree assault for deliberately elbowing New York police officer Grantley Bovel during an Occupy raid.

McMillan struck Officer Bovel on March 17, 2012, during a police raid on an Occupy Anniversary demonstration occurring at Zuccotti Park, downtown New York City.

McMillan faced up to a maximum of seven years in prison.

On Monday May 20, 2014 -- two years since the incident -- Judge Ronald Zweibel sentenced McMillan to three months in prison, stating that she, "must take responsibility for her conduct".

Judge Zweibel went on to say during sentencing that, "A civilised society must not allow an assault to be committed under the guise of civil disobedience.  He did add, though, that, "The court finds that a lengthy sentence would not serve the interests of justice in this case."

From the beginning, the state and McMillan had different understandings of what took place that night at Zuccotti Park. While the state maintained that it was McMillan who attacked NYPD Officer Grantley Bovel by elbowing him in the eye, she instead stated from the beginning that she was sexually assaulted while trying to leave the park.

Claiming that she was only even at Zuccotti Park briefly to meet up with some friends before going elsewhere to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, she was a well-known Occupy activist and the park was in chaos due to a police crackdown on Occupy activists who were also holding a demo at the park.

McMillan referred to the incident as a, "sexual assault" as she and her supporters described how she was, "Seized from behind, she was forcefully grabbed by the breast and ripped backwards. Cecily startled and her arm involuntarily flew backward into the temple of her attacker, who promptly flung her to the ground, where others repeatedly kicked and beat her into a string of seizures."

There are numerous videos of the incident on YouTube which have been scrutinized by both her supporters and supporters of the NYPD.

In this video, you can watch McMillan's reaction to her arrest, as she strikes Officer Bovel in the eye with her elbow. Whether or not this was an involuntary reaction to being grabbed or a deliberate attempt to commit assault against a member of the NYPD was the focus of her trial.

This video shows the after effects of her arrest where she can be seen exhibiting seizures to the fearful cries of her fellow activists as they attempt to rally medical support for her.

Although spared from a seven-year prison term, McMillan remains defiant that she did nothing wrong but defend herself against a violent attack.

Her three-month sentence will be followed by community service and five years of probation.

But due to her remand at Riker's Island, she will receive two-week credit so that her lawyers suspect she will only serve two thirds of her sentence. McMillan also received letters pleading leniency from several jurors who presided over the case.

For more information please see: Occupy activist found guilty of assault after NYPD officer grabs her breast during arrest.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

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