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Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan Found Guilty: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Cecily McMillan, 25, was found guilty on Monday of assaulting an NYPD officer after an incident that occurred during NYPD arrests of Occupy Wall Street protestors at Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of March 18, 2012. Police say she elbowed a police officer in the face unprovoked, but Cecily and onlookers claim the officer roughly grabbed her breast and that she was acting instinctively.

Above you can watch a protest with McMillan on Democracy Now!.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. An NYPD Officer Allegedly Grabbed Her Breast

Cecily was one of the 70 people arrested just after midnight on March 18, and the officer in question, Grantley Bovell, claimed McMillan elbowed him in the face while he tried to arrest her. However, McMillan claimed that the officer grabbed her very hard on the right breast and that she was acting instinctively. You can see above a picture of the bruise on her chest taken around 5 days after the incident.

The judge refused to allow Officer Bovell’s past behavioral issues, including discipline problems and a ticket fixing scandal, with the police be entered as evidence in the court


2. Police Say She Elbowed the Officer

Above you can see the grainy footage that was used in court as evidence. The footage allegedly shows McMillan jumping up to elbow the officer in the face, but does not show what happened immediately before the incident. Bovell was allegedly elbowed in the left eye, but numerous reports that say while in court and under oath, he identified the wrong eye.


3. Video Footage Later Captured McMillan Having a Seizure

A few minutes after she was handcuffed, a number of people filming the arrests noticed McMillan flopping and writhing on the ground. After onlookers recognized the seizure, they called for the police to get her help and remove her handcuffs. McMillan claims she has little memory of the seizure or the minutes following.

You can watch a video of the scene as it unfolded above.


4. She Was Found Guilty on Monday, May 5

After the Trial, during which the Guardian’s Molly Knefel said that “physical evidence was considered suspect but the testimony of the police was cast as infallible,” McMillan was found guilty of assaulting an officer.

She will be held in prison without bail until her May 19 sentencing.


5. She Could Be Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison

At her sentencing on May 19, McMillan may be sentenced to seven years in prison for the incident. The verdict has caused public outrage and in increased use of the already popular Twitter trend, #Justice4Cecily. Second degree assault is a Class D felony, which could have a penalty of 3 to 7 years, but the judge could, if the defendant does not have any prior felony convictions, hand down a sentence of less than a year.

#MyNYPD Hashtag Backfires: Pro-Cop Campaign Turns Into Exhibition of Brutality

In an epic social media fail, people turned the tables on #MyNYPD by tweeting pictures of NYPD police brutality. See the pictures here.

Click here to read more

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