Occupy Wall Street Activist Cecily McMillan Found Guilty of Assault on Police Officer

Cecily_McMillan_Marty_Stolar.jpg
McMillan talks with one of her lawyers, Martin Stolar.

Update, 3:08 p.m.:
A jury has found Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan guilty of assault on a police officer. Her sentencing will be May 19. She was remanded into custody, pending sentencing. Judge Ronald Zweibel refused to let her stay free on bail. A full update can be found on page three.

The Voice's Anna Merlan posted this photo of the police presence:

Original story below.

After nearly a month, the trial of Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan is expected to end today, May 5. McMillan is accused of deliberately elbowing police officer Grantley Bovell in the eye during a six month anniversary Occupy demonstration on March 17, 2012. On Friday, the jury heard closing arguments from both sides, and this morning, they'll be instructed and sent to begin their deliberations. McMillan is charged with assault in the second degree, and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

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

The last person the jury heard from was Assistant District Attorney Erin Choi, the lead prosecutor in the case. She called McMillan's allegations that Officer Bovell had grabbed her breast "heinous" and unbelievable, saying that if McMillan had truly been assaulted, she would have reported it right away, while in police custody.

"She might as well have said that aliens came that night and assaulted her," Choi told the jury.

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

Choi's summation was filled with aggressive, sometimes inflammatory statements that visibly shocked McMillan's supporters in the audience. (They also had a noticeable impact on some members of the press, crammed shoulder to shoulder and laptop to laptop in the front rows of the courtroom.) At one point, referring to Bovell's prior involvement in a ticket-fixing scandal, in which he had five parking tickets illegally dismissed, Choi told them, "What do these five parking tickets mean? Does it mean anyone can assault him whenever they feel like it? If you acquit this defendant, that's what you're saying."

Before Choi spoke, Martin Stolar, one of McMillan's two attorneys, spent over two hours on his own closing arguments. At times he sounded like a long-winded professor, ruminating on the history of protest in the United States ("Being arrested for civil disobedience is as American as apple pie," he told the jury) and going back over much of the testimony in the case. He stressed McMillan's bonafides as a nonviolent activist, saying, "She doesn't abandon her principles for the momentary pleasure or experience of assaulting a police officer."

McMillan's lawyers have maintained that McMillan wasn't heading to Zuccotti Park to protest. She was decked out in an all-green outfit with matching eyeliner, celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a friend from out of town. They say she stopped by Zuccotti Park to meet up with friends and got caught up in an overly aggressive police clearing of the park.

"Send Ms. McMillan home," Stolar told the jury. "Send her back to school. Let her be a teacher, a politician, or president of the United States."

But the prosecution argued that McMillan was intoxicated and feeling cocky, and deliberately elbowed Bovell after shouting "Are you filming this?" at someone in the crowd.

McMillan's "political motives for being in the park" were irrelevant, Choi told the jury. "This case is not about political views or ideologies," she said. "It's not about rich versus poor... This has nothing to do with Occupy Wall Street." Whatever her reasons, she said, McMillan struck Bovell.

Choi also attacked McMillan's claim that she was grabbed from behind by her right breast, and that that was the reason that her elbow flew up and hit Bovell. "This defendant wants you to believe... she was grabbed by her right breast," the prosecutor said. "But this video is crystal clear."

She was referring to a blurry, chaotic YouTube video that does show McMillan elbowing the officer; the defense attorneys have argued it also shows a dark blur, possibly Bovell's arm, crossing McMillan's body in the moments before the attack. Choi's claim that the video was "crystal clear" prompted what sounded like shocked laughter from several reporters in the front row. (A court security guard quickly rushed over and hushed them.)


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28 comments
Nomad13
Nomad13

Cement trucks 2, LAPD 0

irishpatc2
irishpatc2

I hope she does the full 7 years! Who the F does she think she is that she can assult an iniformed Police Officer and think she can get away with it. Maybe she learned her lesson

juleph
juleph

You can tell how dangerous that woman is. Thank God they have sacrificed her for Occupy's filthy, hippy sins.  And that poor COP.  Good Lord, what must he have suffered.

gooriddance
gooriddance

Good.. No one likes these anarchists anyways

ipsophakto
ipsophakto

Justice served.  Her bruise wasn't from a grope, it was from her fall and the  scuffle after the fall.  She clearly paused, crouched down, swung her elbow as hard as she could, then tried to run.  The "grope" story was silly from the start.

annamerlan
annamerlan

@shawncarrie Ha! Not just you, though. The press looked like dogs at a ping pong match, just whipping our heads back and forth in shock.

lippylulu
lippylulu

@irishpatc2  She elbowed a plainsclosed cop who grabbed her breast from behind. What would YOU do if someone grabbed your BALLS from behind? The police were ruthless that night against peaceful protesters gathered in the park. They tried to gert people out even though legally the park is open 24 hours a day. Cops wedre BRUTAL and VIOLENT towar MANY that nght. It was an effort to squash civil dissent. Nopw she is at Rikers with no9 bail? C'mon...No Justice NO Peace!


irishpatc2
irishpatc2

Justice for Cecily was served. GUILTY! Hope she serves the max.

Nomad13
Nomad13

@ipsophakto Paid for schill, with several different acoounts Fail! 'lil brown nose. Hmmmm, 'lil brown nose would be a good name for you to post your B.S. under. That way your mother won't die of shame, if she found out, that she raised such a worthless P.O.S......she proly knows.

irishpatc2
irishpatc2

And I still that POS gets the max

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