Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The Travesty of the Cecily McMillan Trial
Well, who'd a thunk it?
Yesterday in the august Manhattan courtroom of Judge Ronald Zweibel a jury of six women duly convicted Cecily McMillan of assault in the second degree for her alleged unprovoked attack on Honest and Brave NYPD officer Grantley Bovell, an assault that left the Poor, Beleaguered Officer injured in one -- or perhaps the other -- eye, and mortified him severely.
The trial was one of those farces that routinely passes for "justice" in this country, in which testimony and evidence was not allowed for the defense, but no corroboration was necessary for the police officer's assertions. According to those present, his bald-faced lies and contradictions were accepted by the court as gospel.
Well, too often, this is how it goes in the fraudulent institution that claims to be the "finest justice system in the world." The subjects are railroaded and convicted of things they haven't done -- or are induced to plead guilty to things they haven't done -- every single day, as a matter of routine practice. It's not even the pretense of justice, it's a fraud up and down the line, and it is a fraud that condemns millions to jail and prison, sometimes for very lengthy terms, sometimes indeed to death, with little or no recourse. Once "in the system" there's almost no way out.
Cecily was badly injured in the take down and arrest on March 17, 2012. She suffered bruises and a cracked rib, and she had a series of panic attacks which caused her to hyperventilate and ultimately put her in seizure while she was trussed up with zip ties awaiting transport. She was not attended by medical personnel -- in fact, the police openly refused to allow her to be attended -- until many minutes after she began to have a seizure, and the prosecution claimed at trial (without evidence) that she was "faking".
That's the word for the whole dismal process she's been subjected to for the last two years. "Fake" in every way, from her arrest to the charges against her, to the farce of a trial which convicted her.
Cecily McMillan, like millions of others, was railroaded, charged and convicted of the crime of "assault" -- which in fact was what Brave and Valiant Officer Bovell did to her. He assaulted her, first by grabbing her, then by groping her breast, then by tackling her and pinning her to the ground, then by trussing her up and throwing her into a group of other detainees, then he and other officers further assaulted her by refusing to provide any sort of medical assistance when she complained of being unable to breathe and went into seizure.
"Violent bastards," indeed. It's an identity thing with these people.
Cecily McMillan was convicted of assault in the second degree on a police officer and was immediately remanded to Riker's Island without bail to await sentencing on May 19. She may well be sentenced by his phony honor Zweibel to the maximum of seven years for the insult and mortification -- and injury to one or the other eye -- she inflicted on Brave and Honest Officer Bovell that night in Zuccotti Park on St. Paddy's Day two years ago.
She doesn't deny she smacked him with her elbow, oh no. She never did deny that. What she said was she didn't know who he was, she didn't even see him as he came up behind her, and grabbed her from behind. He didn't identify himself. He was not in uniform. She started to leave the park on her own, she said, to get away from this person, when he grabbed right breast, hard, leaving a bruise, and she whacked him with her elbow.
At which point Brave and Valiant Officer Bovell tackled the bitch and sat on her until she was zip tied and under... control. Yeah, that's the ticket.
This is the scene as it was recorded by Cecily's friends that night:
Is it possible for a viewer of this video to make out what happened?
To an extent, perhaps.
It's possible to hear women speaking. "Ah, there's Cecily.... Is she getting beat up? She's getting beat up right now... Oh God... Yeah, they're [unintelligible]... Who is [escorting... or hurting] her? Cops and one guy not in a cop uniform, he's right be...[cut off]..."
But what can be seen is... ambiguous. I recall watching livestreaming of the Zuccotti Park re-occupation that night, and I recall the astonishment and outrage at what took place when Cecily was assaulted, manhandled and arrested, and the growing fury and outrage as she was neglected and refused medical attention as she had trouble breathing and went into seizure. I will never forget it.
What happened to Cecily happened so quickly, no one initially knew what was going on. It was almost unbelieveable, as up to that point, there had been very little interaction between police and the Occupiers, and the mass arrests hadn't begun. The spirit of the place was, until that moment, still pretty mellow.
But then, the woman was tackled by... someone. Nobody knew who or why, and it looked for all the world like she was being assaulted and beat up by a civilian stranger -- remember, Bovell was not in uniform -- only whoever it was tackling her and beating on her was being protected by cops... Ah. There you have it. Her attacker was plainclothes.
She was being arrested.
Here she is, trussed up, lying in the street, having a seizure, while a whole contingent of New York's Finest mill about, apparently enjoying the show, and the crowd of witnesses can barely contain their anger and dismay.
Typical, though, of the efforts of NYPD to display as much of their arbitrary cruelty to the multitudes as possible during the Occupy hey day. They did it all the time, as I documented in the cases of Daniel Murphy and "Romania" among others.
But of course, Cecily would be charged, would go to trial, and she would be convicted -- for what the officer had done.
It happens all the time, every day, to thousands who wind up "in the system" never to be free.
It's time it stops.