Occupy Protester gets 90 days for assault on New York police officer

A judge in New York City told an Occupy Wall Street protester that assaulting a police officer is not civil disobedience as he sentenced her to jail.
By Frances Burns  |  May 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM
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NEW YORK, May 19 (UPI) -- An Occupy Wall Street protester was sentenced to 90 days Monday for assaulting a New York police officer after a prosecutor said she "seeks to become a martyr."

Cecily McMillan, 25, was jailed two weeks ago after a jury convicted her of second-degree assault. Her sentence includes five years on probation after her release.

McMillan was arrested in 2012 in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. She said she struck out reflexively at Officer Grantley Bovell after he touched her breast.

Shanda Strain, the prosecutor, told Justice Ronald Zweibel during Monday's hearing in Supreme Court, the trial-level court in New York State, that McMillan deserved jail time for lying under oath about the officer's actions. Strain said McMillan had tried to make an act of assault and resisting arrest into a political statement and said she "seeks to become a martyr."

McMillan got a lot of support, with five members of the New York City Council asking that she be spared incarceration and a jailhouse visit from the Russian punk rock protest group Pussy Riot.

A videotape of the incident appeared to show McMillan striking Bozell without provocation.

"A civilized society must not allow an assault to be committed under the guise of civil disobedience," Zweibel said.

McMillan is a graduate student at the New School, a labor organizer and a political activist.

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