Occupy protester gets 90 days for assault on cop
Cecily McMillan, who insisted she was innocent, had faced as much as seven years in prison
By Jennifer Peltz
NEW YORK — An Occupy Wall Street activist convicted of assaulting a police officer was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Monday.
Cecily McMillan, who insisted she was innocent, had faced as much as seven years in prison. She apologized in court for injuring the officer but said it was an accident.
"I can say with certainly that I am innocent of the crime I was convicted of," she told Justice Ronald Zweibel in Manhattan Supreme Court. "I cannot confess to a crime I did not commit ... in hopes that you will return to me my freedom."
The felony trial of the 25-year-old graduate student became a rallying point for activists. The courtroom was packed with about 50 of her supporters; scores more could not get in.
"A civil society must not allow an assault to be committed under the guise of civil disobedience ... Ms. McMillan must take responsibility for her conduct," Zweibel said.
McMillan was charged with deliberately elbowing an officer in the eye in March 2012 during a gathering that marked the six months since Occupy Wall Street began.
While more than 2,600 cases ensued from the protests over economic inequality, most involved misdemeanor or violation charges. Manhattan prosecutors agreed to dismiss more than 78 percent of the cases. Most included the condition that defendants stay of trouble for six months.
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