Three Months for Occupier Who Elbowed Cop
MANHATTAN (CN) - An Occupy Wall Street protester convicted of elbowing a police officer in the face got three months of jail time on Monday, a drastic reduction from the seven years she faced stemming from her felony conviction earlier this month.
Cecily McMillan, 25, received her sentence Monday and was the last Occupy Wall Street protester of the thousands to move through the court system after the height of the protests two years ago.
Judge Ronald Zweibel heeded the advice of the 12-member jury who had asked him to be lenient with McMilllan after they learned about the heavy sentence McMillan faced.
The prosecution had shown that McMillan elbowed New York City Police Department Officer Grantley Bovell in the eye during a rally that marked the six-month anniversary of the Occupy movement at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan the night of March 17, 2012.
Video of the incident played to the jury showed McMillan jumping up and elbowing the officer as he asked her and others to clear out of the park so that it could be cleaned that night.
Convicted on May 5, McMillan claimed that the officer grabbed her breast from behind and threw her face-first into the pavement, causing her to have a seizure. Prosecutors said she was faking it for attention and to get out of being arrested.
While awaiting sentencing McMillan has been held at Rikers Island.
Prosecutors had also wanted McMillan to face a $5,000 fine and mandatory community service, but the judge declined.
The courtroom was packed Monday, as it had been during her trial weeks earlier, and several supporters of McMillan were not able to get into the court room.
"As so many were expecting a jail term of years, 90 days was a relief," Occupy Wall Street spokesman William Dobbs said. "Still, she's got a felony conviction hanging over her head so appeal is in the works."
After the jury delivered its verdict of guilty earlier this month, several McMillan and Occupy supporters stood up and shouted, "Shame! Shame! Shame." Several court officers were on hand to control the situation.