This is the last ongoing Occupy trial, including felony charge against Activist Cecily McMillan, who was assaulted by a police officer and then charged with 2nd degree assault herself. To read general overview click here.
Over 50 supporters of Cecily McMillan including many Occupiers in suits patiently waited in line today at 100 Centre Street also known as “The Tombs”. There was a diverse crowd of supporters, news reporters and even two court sketch artists, Molly Crabapple and Deb Van Poolen. A barricade was constructed inside the court-house, to control the flow of supporters inside and outside Room 1116 on 11th floor. We were going to find out whether a motion to unseal the records of Officer Bovell (who assaulted Cecily) would be granted to the defense.
Judge Zweibel rejected motion 50-4(a), which would have given the Defense access to Officer Grantley Bovell’s personnel file, eg details of his conduct. This ruling negatively affects the ability of Cecily’s Defense team to challenge the credibility of Bovell’s testimony, who is the primary witness of the Prosecution. There were two civil suits (one settled and one pending) alleging police brutality by Officer Bovell and his involvement in the infamous ticket-fixing scandal in the Bronx. Judge Zweibel’s interpretation that such a history is ‘irrelevant’ to the case at hand sets a chilling tone for the case moving forward. The denial of access to vital information such as Bovell’s conduct within the NYPD, is unfortunately common, however contrary to common sense and justice. While Judge Zweibel may choose to ignore public will, it will ultimately, be up to the Jury to determine Cecily’s fate. The energy in the court-room with a crowd of supporters is not something the jurors will be able to ignore, so it is vital we continue to #PackTheCourts in numbers. Jury selection has been set for April 7th 9:30AM, with a press conference shortly beforehand at 9AM.
To find out more about how to get involved, check out JusticeForCecily.com.