Activist Cecily McMillan Back in Court for Videotaping Police Officers

October 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ received the following press advisory about the upcoming trial of Cecily McMillan, who recently served 58 days in New York’s Rikers Island prison for an Occupy Wall Street case.

On December 7, 2013, Cecily McMillan was arrested for attempting to document by video the arrests of a young man and woman in the Union Square subway station. Cecily saw two plainly dressed men begin to abusively confront and interrogate two young Latino people. When she began to question them about the harassment, it turned out the men were police officers who then arrested them. Cecily followed them to the subway precinct, watching to make sure they were not further abused, and began to take a video of the arrest process from outside the precinct doors.

Cecily was arrested and has been charged with “obstructing governmental administration” even though nothing was obstructed, for the two arrestees were issued summonses and released. Cecily was harassed by police officers, particularly when they found out that she was the OWS [Occupy Wall Street] protester awaiting trial for allegedly assaulting a police officer. In May of 2014 she was convicted on the assault charges, currently awaiting appeal. She spent 58 days incarcerated in Rikers Island, after which she has advocated for improving the deplorable conditions in the city’s largest jail.

Cecily’s supporters are calling for allies to pack the courtroom. The U.S. Constitution protects the right to film police activity, as confirmed in a recent internal memo to all NYPD officers in response to public outrage over video evidence showing a police officer fatally choking Eric Garner this summer. Police officers continue to harass or arrest activists and bystanders that record police misconduct. On Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., supporters will hold a press conference outside the courthouse with activists as well as city officials in defense of the right to film police activity.

What: Cecily McMillan on trial for videotaping police misconduct

Who: Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall Street Activist and Prison Justice Advocate

When: 9:30 am EDT, Monday, October 6, 2014

Where: Manhattan District Court, 100 Centre St., 4th floor, Jury Part 13.

See also "Cecily McMillan: 'Bring voices back to those who have had their voices taken away'".

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