At 5 o'clock this morning, graduate student and Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan was awakened by a guard in her bunk at Rikers, where she's spent a little more than two months after being convicted of assault on a police officer. McMillan had expected to be released today, but she anticipated going through the usual procedure: visiting the social services office around 7:30 a.m. with a group of other women also being let out that day, receiving her property back, and meeting her friends at the gates of the jail.
Photo by Anna Merlan McMillan reads her statement in front of the Rikers entrance.
Instead, McMillan says she was taken to an unmarked van by a cadre of police officers.
"I don't want to go with you," she later told her friend Lucy Parks she said to them. "You're not telling me where you're taking me." She feared she was being set up.
Eventually, an officer told her she was being released. She was taken to the Queensboro Plaza, where she says she was "dumped" unceremoniously, her arms full of her property. She had no keys, money, or phone. The officers left her with a Metro Card and drove away.More »