Cecily McMillan is a 26-year-old Occupy activist and union organizer who was convicted in May 2014 of allegedly assaulting a police officer on March 17, 2012. She received strong support from activists in NYC and around the world during her felony trial and subsequent jail sentence. In October 2014, she is facing a misdemeanor charge for filming police officers in a subway station.
After two years of censoring evidence and hand-selecting jurors, the prosecution was blatantly favored with overwhelming bias from Judge Ronald Zweibel. In a shocking verdict that stunned outside observers, she was found guilty despite insufficient evidence and Zweibel sentenced Cecily to 90 days in jail at Rikers Island, along with 5 years of probation. She was remanded without bail to jail on May 5 2014, despite having missed no court appointments over two years of hearings and her public insistence on refusing to plea out.
Cecily was released from jail on good behavior on July 2. She has conducted several interviews maintaining her innocence, and she has spoken out against deliberately inhumane conditions for inmates at Rikers (see Media Coverage). Upon her release, Cecily wrote an Op-Ed that was printed in the New York Times, and her interview appeared as a feature story in Cosmopolitan. The Op-Ed was accompanied by the release of a petition was signed by over 10,000 people, at which point Cecily and her allies delivered them to the Commissioner of Corrections on Rikers Island.
During the long period between her initial arrest and the jury trial, Cecily was apprehended in December 2013 on false charges by NYPD officers collaborating with the District Attorney’s office. Assistant District Attorney Erin Choi discussed the arrest, including fabricated police testimony, at length in her closing arguments – which was admitted illegally by Judge Zweibel.
Cecily returns to court on October 6, 2014 on the charge of “obstructing government administration.” Her friends are asking for all supporters and allies to join them in packing the courtroom and raising their voices against prosecutorial overreach, police violence, and mass incarceration. If you have not already, please RSVP on Facebook and spread the word using the hashtag #JusticeForCecily.