Lawmakers asks judge for leniency against convicted Occupy protester

Lawmakers rallied at City Hall Monday to ask asked Judge Ronald Zweibel for leniency against convicted Occupy protestor Cecily McMillan. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Lawmakers rallied at City Hall Monday to ask asked Judge Ronald Zweibel for leniency against convicted Occupy protestor Cecily McMillan.
Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

City Council members rallied in front of City Hall on Monday in support of Cecily McMillan, who was convicted last week for elbowing a police officer during a rally six months after the Occupy Wall Street protests.

McMillan, 25, faces up to seven years in jail for what she claimed at trial was a defensive move when the arresting officer allegedly grabbed and bruised her breast from behind.

A jury found McMillan guilty of assaulting Officer Grantley Bovell on March 17, 2012 during the arrest.

“A woman should never fear for the safety of her body,” wrote Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez in a statement Monday. “This is what Cecily McMillan felt prior to her arrest, and her split reaction in self-defense in no way warrants jail time.”

Rodriguez himself had charges against him dropped after he participated in Occupy events in 2011.

“She remains committed to fighting for social justice and we cannot let an injustice take away her potential for a productive and meaningful future,” he added.

At trial, Officer Bovell testified that he instructed McMillan to leave the park. Upon her refusal, he said he put his hand on her shoulder.

“I remember the defendant crouching down and lunging with her elbow and hitting me in the face,” he told the jury.

Rodriguez, along with Council members Jumaane Williams, Robert Cornegy, Jr., Helen Rosenthal and Laurie Cumbo echoed sentiments expressed by nine of the 12 jurors from McMillan’s trial who asked that the protestor be required to serve community service instead of a jail sentence.

Williams, who along with a number of other council members were arrested for civil disobedience during the original protests, said McMillan’s original participation “helped carry the voice of thousands of concerned constituents.”

“I believe it would be a miscarriage of justice to sentence Cecily prison time,” the Brooklyn councilman wrote. “I ask the judge in this case to listen to the jurors whose change of heart came after the conviction.”

McMillan is expected in court for sentencing on May 19.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

Movies

Review: Desert-walking movie 'Tracks' would be better as…

Mia Wasikowska walks 1700 miles across Australia's deserts in "Tracks," in a story that defies triumph-of-the-spirit cliches but gets some of them anyway.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…