An Occupy Wall Street activist faces up to seven years in prison for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Credit: Stan Honda/FP/GettyImages
An activist faces up to seven years in prison for allegedly elbowing an NYPD officer during a march marking the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
Cecily McMillan, 25, was charged with felony assault of a police officer and second-degree assault, a class D felony, after her arrest on March 17, 2012. She allegedly elbowed an officer behind her in the face when he grabbed her during the protest near Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.
According to her attorney, video and social media documenting the incident, McMillan was beaten by police during her arrest. She was hospitalized for bruised ribs and a seizure.
Nearly two years later, jury selection in McMillan's case begins Monday.
Her attorney, Martin R. Stolar, did not dispute McMillan elbowed the officer, but said that no crime has been committed.
"The main issue here," Stolar said in a statement, "is the heavy-handed overpolicing by the NYPD during the Occupy Wall Street protests, which lead to crimes where none existed. It was a normal reaction for a woman to react, to be startled after having her right breast grabbed."
McMillan's case is one of the last relating to Occupy Wall Street on the docket, according to the National Lawyers Guild.