Cecily McMillan’s Second Trial Postponed; Faces Possible Return to Prison

Cecily_Illustration.jpg
Jared Rodriguez / Flickr-Truthout

By Barbara Joye

Cecily McMillan, a DSA and Occupy Wall Street activist who recently completed a 90-day jail term for felonious assault on a police officer who had actually assaulted her during an OWS reunion March 17, 2012, faces another trial for a misdemeanor charge resulting from an unrelated Dec. 2013 arrest. Although a conviction on this second charge could send her back to prison for up to a year, on Sept. 15 she refused to accept a plea bargain for 10 days community service because that would require her to admit guilt (the same decision she made when offered a plea bargain for the felony charge). No judge was available to try the case that afternoon, so the trial date was set for Sept. 30 – if a judge can be found with a clear calendar that day.

Cecily was arrested by the NYPD last December for observing and attempting to video the arrests of two young people in a subway station. She says she had seen two men, not in uniform, abusively confronting and interrogating the couple. When she questioned them about the harassment, it turned out the men were police officers, who then arrested the couple. Cecily followed them to the subway precinct and began to take a video of the arrest procedure from outside the precinct doors. The officers then arrested Cecily for “obstruction of government administration.” (The couple they had arrested were given summonses and released.) She was treated especially poorly by the police when they discovered she was awaiting trial for the Occupy Wall Street incident, and later the new allegations were used against her at her felony trial even though nothing had yet been proven.

For updates, see #justice4Cecily, or justiceforcecily.com. To receive immediate updates, text @CecilysTrial to 23559.

Barbara Joye is recording secretary of Metro Atlanta DSA and a member of DSA’s National Political Committee. Thanks to Lucy Parks for portions of this report.


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