Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageLast of the Occupy Wall Street trials begins in NYC

By Martin Laine     Apr 13, 2014 in Politics
The trial of an Occupy Wall Street activist accused of assaulting a police officer two years ago begins in earnest Monday, after a surprisingly lengthy jury selection and opening arguments by both sides last week.
Cecily McMillan, 25, faces 7 years in prison for elbowing Officer Grantley Bovell in the face, a felony, during a police sweep of Zucotti Park, scene of an Occupy Wall Street protest on March 17, 2012.
McMillan does not deny that she elbowed the officer. At issue is the nature of the incident.
Officer Bovell says he was attempting to escort her off the grounds when she attacked him. She says he grabbed her breast from behind, and she simply reacted to the assault on her, throwing out an elbow, not realizing it was a police officer.
In her opening statement, Rebecca Heinegg, one of McMillan’s defense lawyers, said her client “reacted in surprise” when her right breast was grabbed from behind, according to an article in The Guardian. She added that McMillan, a known Occupy activist, was also known for her nonviolence philosophy. Furthermore, Heinegg said McMillan wasn’t taking part in that day’s events, but was simply passing through the area, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends.
“She was dressed in bright green, she had friends visiting from out of town, and she was out in the West Village and the East Village to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Heinegg said.
Assistant district attorney Erin Choi painted a different picture. Choi said a film would show McMillian crouched, and ready to spring at Officer Bovell.
“Officer Bovell was completely horrified. It was the last thing he expected that day,” Choi said.
The trial got off to a bit of a rocky start after several prospective jurors were dismissed claiming they could not be impartial. Some said they had strong ties to Wall Street financial businesses, others because they said they were suspicious of the police.
Zucotti Park in the city’s financial district was one of the original protest sites when the Occupy movement started in September, 2011. It eventually spread to other locations in New York, and other cities around the country.
Over the course of the protests, New York City police arrested 2,644 protesters, according to the New York Times. Of these, only seven were indicted, including McMillan. Of the other six, only one went to trial, a woman who was acquitted. Two others pleaded guilty to the charges they faced, and the other two pleaded guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges.
McMillan chose to ask for a trial, rather than plead guilty to a felony.
More about Occupy Wall Street, Cecily McMillan, zucotti park
More news from
Latest News
Top News