|APPARENTLY WHAT WE ARE VIEWING HERE IS |
CECILY MCMILLAN ASSAULTING A POLICE OFFICER
Cecily McMillan Found Guilty – Write to Her!
Cecily McMillan is on trail essentially for being assaulted by a cop. That isn't the charge, but that is the reality.
On March 17, 2012 McMillan was at Zucocotti Park on the six month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Although Cecily had participated in OWS, she wasn't even there to protest that day. She was just meeting some friends on the way to a St. Pats day celebration. Young people, what are ya gonna do?
Anyway, as they are always wont to do, the cops swept in. She was grabbed on her breast from behind. She instinctively responded. Apparently her elbow made contact with a cop's head. Uh oh, can't have that! She was charged for assault for that reaction and faces up to seven years in jail.
Of course, the real assault by the police didn't end with one grope, one violent grope which left major bruising, no that wasn't the end. After being taken into custody she was beaten so severely that she went into a seizure and was denied medical treatment. There were lots of witnesses who pleaded with the cops for help. They didn't. As Kathryn Funkhouser writes on the Toast:
Protestors stand behind a barricade, near a city bus where the police are taking the people they have arrested. McMillan is being escorted there in handcuffs when she collapses to the pavement and begins to seize uncontrollably. The police officers stand over her in a tight circle wordlessly watching as she, in her bright green shirt, lies on the ground, unable to breathe as her body jerks violently. The visual is chilling. Do they think she’s faking? The protestors curse and shout for the officers to help her, protect her head, give her space, but none of them acknowledge the cries. Several officers finally pick her up, take her out of the street, and put her down on the sidewalk, removing the handcuffs. It’s more difficult to see her, but she seems to be going in and out of consciousness and she’s clearly in distress. The protestors begin to roar for a medic. The officers respond by fanning out along the barricades, looking around warily at the protestors, their faces unreadable. McMillan tries to sit up, can’t seem to breathe, then collapses, again and again. All of the officers seem to be moving maddeningly slowly, milling around with hands on hips. It takes a very, very long time for the ambulance to come.
When she wakes up in the hospital, she’s covered in bruises and doesn’t know where she is. She thinks her rib is broken, it hurts so much. In the next forty-odd hours, she is shuttled between the hospital and jail, and although she asks over and over, she is not allowed a phone call to a lawyer, friends, or family.
This is not about McMillan’s elbow. This is about changing the conversation.
Need I bother to say that the cop, Grantley Bovel has been charged in other incidents of excessive force and illegal behavior. I need bother because the judge isn't allowing that into evidence. Michelle Goldberg writes at the Nation:
... Bovel has twice been investigated by Internal Affairs, including for one incident in which he and his partner were alleged to have run down a 17-year-old on a dirt bike. He received a “command discipline” for failing to radio that they were in pursuit. In another case, he was filmed kicking a suspect on the floor of a Bronx bodega.
Oh yeah, Bovel is also currently being sued by a protester arrested the same day for bashing his head into seats of a police bus. The Guardian further reports on this little fact that the jury won't get to hear:
The protester (suing Bovel), Austin Guest, alleges that Bovell dragged him down the aisle of a bus while “intentionally banging his head on each seat”. His attorneys said in an updated complaint filed to federal court in Manhattan last week that as a result he “suffered physical, psychological and emotional injuries, mental anguish, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and other damages”.
They allege that after being put face-down on the ground and tightly handcuffed, Guest, a 33-year-old graduate of Harvard University, was “dragged up the stairs and thrown head-first into the bus”, which was to take him and other protesters to a courthouse for processing.
“He was carried like a battering ram so that his head struck each seat as they took him to the back of the bus,” said Rebecca Heinegg, an attorney for Guest. “They were clearly aware that this was happening.”
Of course, it is important to cover Cecily McMillan's case, and to speak up for the rights of people everywhere to peaceably assemble in protest. It is equally important not to forget that there are people all over New York whose trials are not getting this kind of attention, or who do not go to trial at all because they have no help, no support, no one to stand by them while they refuse a plea bargain in an attempt to keep felony charges off their records.
I agree. I totally agree.
So here we are on Prison Friday and you can read the rest from In These Times Below.
Post-Occupy, #myNYPD Makes New York’s Blood BoilBY SARAH JAFFE
On Tuesday, April 22, the New York City Police Department had a very bad idea. Someone at the NYPD decided that the department could be doing better with its social media engagement and asked people to tweet photos of themselves with NYPD officers using the