UPDATE MAY 19, 2014: Cecily McMillan faced a possible seven years in jail for her felony conviction, but was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of probation. After paying out thousands in settlements to Occupy Wall Street protesters, the NYPD was looking for a win in the case of Cecily McMillan. They were also looking for at least one case to ‘prove’ their narrative that protesters are dangerous. Today, they got what they wanted. After a 13 day trial, filled with character defamation, Cecily was found guilty of felony assault by a jury. Cecily was arrested on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, as police were clearing Occupiers from Zuccotti Park. The facts of the incident are in dispute, Cecily says she was grabbed roughly from behind by someone, so she reacted by throwing her elbow back, apparently making contact with the eye of the person who was attacking her. It turned out her attacker was a police officer, who claimed she assaulted him. It’s a case that has galvanized the activist community in New York. The trial centered on a grainy and chaotic video of the incident which prosecutors said proved McMillan intentionally elbowed the police officer. It’s nearly impossible to see what was happening from the video, but given general conduct of the NYPD toward OWS, it’s hard for us not to believe Cecily’s side of the story. Over 2,600 people were arrested in NYC during Occupy Wall Street, most for minor offenses that were either dismissed or “adjourned contemplating dismissal,” (meaning no record). The police have continuously tried to demonize OWS protesters, and paint them as violent and out of control. This case was their last chance to “prove” that point. For the most part, it’s the NYPD who have been violent and out of control, costing the city thousands (and there are still outstanding civil suits, including the wrongful mass arrest of 700 people on the Brooklyn Bridge). This is a partial lists of settlements the city has paid out: $366,700 for the November 15, 2011 raid that ruined the OWS library. $82,000 to Shawn Schrader, who was arrested the same night as Cecily and choked by police. He was also arrested on an old public urination charge – against someone else. $55,000 to Josh Boss for a December 2011 incident of police brutality. $50,000 to three OWS activists who were surrounded by 30 cops and arrested in November, 2011. They were detained for 24 hours, strip searched and questioned about OWS. At the time of their arrest, the activists were not at Zuccotti Park, leading them (and us) to believe they were being followed. $25,000 to Sade Adona who was thrown to the ground and beaten and hauled off by police on October 26, 2011. She was charged with resisting arrest, attempted assault and disorderly conduct. Those charges were dropped. Obviously, the District Attorney’s office and the NYPD are hoping to make an example out of McMillan by pursuing this case. They could have let her plead out to lesser charges and kept this ridiculous case out of court. They did offer her no jail time, but wouldn’t reduce the felony charge… which shows us how dangerous they really think Cecily is (not at all) but how deeply they want to be able to say that protesters are felons….