A Manhattan judge sentenced an Occupy Wall Street demonstrator Monday to 90 days in prison plus five years probation after being convicted of assaulting a cop during a 2012 protest.
Despite pleas for no time behind bars from Cecily McMillan’s supporters from around the world, Justice Ronald A. Zweibel agreed with prosecutors who demanded that she be punished for elbowing Grantley Bovell during a March 17, 2012 demonstration at Zuccotti Park.
McMillan, 25, contended that she acted defensively after Bovell allegedly grabbed her breast when he tried to arrest her, and said she was unjustly charged for protesting.
Assistant District Attorney Shanda Strain told Judge Zweibel that this case was not a referendum on the Occupy movement.
“The defendant has consistently sought to transform these proceedings into a platform to advance her personal interests and to voice her political opinions, neither of which are relevant to this court’s sentencing determination,” Strain said.
In a pre-sentencing interview with Mashable, McMillan said she was cheated by the American justice system.
“Like, I am so appalled, but it’s also very humbling because everybody that I am in here with, I mean, for them, this isn’t normal, this isn’t expected, they don’t even think about going to trial,” she told the news site.
Her supporters agreed and said her concerns weren’t taken seriously by the authorities.
“Cecily is an awkward symbol for the broader issues of police brutality and a broken, biased legal system,” the group Justice For Cecily said in a statement.
McMillan was convincted on May 6.
Celebrities and elected officials, like Pussy Riot and Councilman Yndanis Rodriguez, supported McMillan during her trial and said she didn’t deserve this punishment.
Erin Duggan Kramer, the deputy chief of staff for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, however said each of the 2,600 Occupy cases were treated with “unprecedented amount of time and care.”
“This defendant chose to take her case to trial, and was convicted by a jury of her peers for a violent felony,” she said in a statement.