Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making an Example of Cecily McMillan

A jury has found Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan guilty of assaulting an officer, but did they get the full story?

It seems that they hadn't.  Actually, it looks to me like the trial was conducted in a very one-sided way. The prosecution was able to present their entire case against her, including prejudicial information regarding a later, unrelated incident to discredit her,  while the defense was unable to bring forward information regarding any previous excessive force allegations against the officer that McMillan alleges, with photographic proof, grabbed her breast with enough force to create a roughly hand-sized bruise. (Which is a tactic that has been used by law enforcement in their harrassment of protesters in other cases.) Having been found guilty of a felony, Ms. McMillan's future (employment opportunities, etc.) are very negatively impacted.

In the several decisions associated with this trial--denying bail, the dismissal of information that would have added context to her actions, the being held until sentencing, all look to me like she is being made an example of. But what a lousy example this sets.

What it all seems to say is that people exercizing their right to peaceful protest have no expectation of peace from "keepers of the peace." It's saying that law enforcement has the right to physically molest individuals, and they may not attempt, even reflexively, to defend their personal space. And it says that, while you may have a right to a jury trial, you might not always get to have the defense you need. Like...the full truth presented.

It is deeply disappointing.

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