Protester Convicted of Assaulting NYPD Officer

     (CN) – A jury on Monday found an Occupy Wall Street protester guilty of assaulting a New York City police officer.
     The seven-woman, five-male panel deliberated for only a few hours Monday morning before reaching its verdict in the felony case against Cecily McMillan, 25.
     She faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced by Judge Ronald Zweibel, who presided over her five-week trial in Manhattan Criminal Court.
     McMillan was accused of purposefully elbowing Officer Grant Bovell in the eye as fellow Occupiers were filming her during a March 17, 2012, rally in Zuccotti Park. The event commemorated the six-month anniversary of the Occupy movement.
     She had admitted in court to throwing the elbow, but says she did so after the officer grabbed her right breast from behind, lifted her off the ground and threw her face-first to the pavement.
     McMillan was taken into custody.
     Her attorney, Martin Stolar, told a gathering of about 75 Occupiers and supporters that he would appeal the verdict after McMillan’s sentencing on May 19.
     “I’m extremely disappointed that an innocent woman has been convicted,” Stolar told the crowd gathered in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court.
     One woman in the crowd asked if they could see McMillan when she’s driven away from the courthouse in police custody.
     “Cecily’s not coming out,” Stolar said. “Cecily will come out the back door, in handcuffs.”
     It was “controlled chaos” after the verdict was read, Occupy Wall Street spokesman William Dobbs said.
     At least eight people in the courtroom stood up and chanted, “Shame! Shame!” before Zweibel ordered police — who numbered at least 35 — to clear them out.
     “Prosecutors deployed extensive resources, including a cop who had a dirty record to make this case,” Dobbs said after the verdict.
     Bovell testified during the trial that he was disciplined for fixing tickets for himself, friends and family.
     Protesters continued to linger outside the courtroom two hours after the verdict. Several officers stood guard nearby and across the street.

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