As Trial Winds Down, Prosecutors Press OWS Activist Cecily McMillan On Unrelated Misdemeanor Arrest

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Cecily McMillan
After three weeks, the trial of Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan is nearly over, with McMillan herself taking the stand yesterday, April 29. Her testimony touched briefly on her educational background and her activism. On Wednesday, she's expected to discuss her version of what happened on March 17, 2012, when she's accused of assaulting a police officer, Grantley Bovell, during a demonstration at Zuccotti Park.

See also: Cecily McMillan Faces Prison Time. Where's the Justice in That?

As the trial continues, two different versions of McMillan have emerged. Defense testimony depicts McMillan as a gentle, intelligent, non-violent activist who believed in working with the police and the government to make change. They say she elbowed Bovell after he grabbed her breast from behind, and that she didn't realize it was a police officer doing the grabbing. During the incident, they say, McMillan was thrown to the ground and beaten by Bovell and other officers, triggering a seizure. When a friend visited her in the hospital while she was in custody, she told him she feared her ribs were broken.

The prosecution, meanwhile, maintains that the 25-year-old McMillan is a committed cop-hater who makes a habit of fighting with the police, and that she faked her seizure in an attempt to get out of trouble. They've been trying hard to find a way to mention a second pending case against her, a misdemeanor in which she's charged with interfering with the arrest of a man and a woman who were being cited for fare evasion in the Union Square subway station. Yesterday, they succeeded.

- See also: As Occupy Protester Cecily McMillan's Trial Continues, Judge Orders Both Sides To Quit Talking to Press

Early in the trial, Judge Ronald Zweibel ruled that previous allegations of violence against Officer Bovell, including a federal lawsuit in which he's accused of slamming an Occupy protester's head against the seats of a prisoner transport bus, couldn't be brought up in front of the jury. Rebecca Heinegg, one of McMillan's attorneys, argued that the same should be true for McMillan's pending misdemeanor case. But Zweibel said testimony about the case would be permitted, provided that a witness "opened the door."

All of the defense witnesses testified that McMillan was firmly non-violent and committed to working with the police, to the point that other protesters called her a "liberal" and a "reformist" (dirty words in more radical circles).

"She had no problem with the state and she had no problem with the police," OWS activist Marissa Holmes testified. "It was widely known that she had a reformist and a non-violent position."

Fellow protester Zoltan Gluck said that McMillan supported non-violence "for both political and ethical reasons," and called the mood in Zuccotti Park that March night "celebratory," right up until the arrests began. He witnessed McMillan's seizure and called it "one of the most violent things I've seen at Occupy Wall Street," a remark the prosecution quickly asked be stricken from the record.

"What struck me was police officers were walking away from Cecily," he added. "People in the crowd were shouting that they were medics," but police didn't allow them to approach, and it took several minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

In cross-examinations, Assistant District Attorney Erin Choi continued to suggest that McMillan faked the seizure, saying that she'd been seeing "flipping her hair" while seated on the ground in handcuffs. She also asked every defense witness if they were aware that McMillan had "forcibly interfered" with a police investigation in Union Square.

See also: 'I Was Choked by the NYPD': New York's Chokehold Problem Isn't Going Away

Choi didn't elaborate much on that incident, but we can: the Voice obtained a copy of the December 7, 2013 criminal complaint against McMillan. It states that around 1 a.m., transit officer Luis Castillo observed a woman and a man, Abril Chamorro and Martin Delcanizo, walk into the Union Square station through an open emergency exit. Castillo followed the pair onto an L train platform and started to question them.

McMillan was sitting on a bench next to Delcanizo and Chamorro. According to the complaint, she told them, "You don't have to talk to them," meaning Officer Castillo and his partner, who isn't named in the report.

"Don't pay attention to them," she allegedly added. "They did not identify themselves."

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Grantley T Bovell

33 years old
(718) 824-3738
Give this goon a nice call. 

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

"I protest with the police" she proclaimed as a show of her support of the police



yet another reason why government employees should NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE IN A UNION

this pits the police against the very people they serve

instead they end up serving those in power

the EXACT methodology used by communist countries to keep the people in line


The video tells the story.  She is being escorted by the officer, she crouches down to build up power and throw her elbow in the officer's face, then she immediately tries to run away, but falls in the process.  That fall and scuffle are what caused her bruise.  This case is closed.  She's guilty.


So the fact that the cop is a thug with a history of beating up civilians and lying about it is irrelevant but that Cecily once tried to help a couple of poor minorities to stick up for their rights is perfectly germane? What a kangaroo court!


@ipsophakto I'm new to this case, and have just now read all of the background and watched the video.  I'm nearly positive I would have returned a guilty verdict against Ms. McMillan if I had been on the jury.


@ipsophakto  Whether or not she intended to inflict harm on him is a moot point.  The guy seized her breast and that could be considered sexual assault.
Oh, but I forgot.  The police are able to operate with impunity!  Keep thinking that and deluding yourself that this kind of behavior hasn't forced us onto the precipice of a historical revolution.


@ipsophakto You don't know that. It's said that the video doesn't show what happened before then, which is when the officer is said to have assaulted her. There is also photographic evidence of the hand-shaped mark on her breast that the officer is said to have given her.

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@nick.pendergast @ipsophakto  


I would agree that the police powers in this country have grown out of control

but when the potus takes the law and broadens it as Obama has done

and has the backing of the msm and many of the OWS crowd

its a tough road to fight back for freedom


when the same people want the ACA , as one example

Asking the government to "be the power" when it comes to perceived good , the ACA etc

and then not understanding that that comes with a price is

naivity at best

think that through

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@rappold40 @ipsophakto  

it not considered an assault if in the process of the cop doing his job she was touched,

even roughly 

and of course since the left claims the breasts are not sexual

the inference and the "shock"we are suppose to feel for her breasts area "assault"

is no longer there

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