Jailed Occupy Protester: I Was Locked Up And Exposed In A Storage Closet By NYPD
The Occupy Wall Street protester who was jailed for elbowing an officer in the face was released just last Wednesday, and she is now speaking out about the brutality she faced while incarcerated.
On March 17, 2012, Cecily McMillan was in Zuccotti Park meeting up with friends. She said the police came in at midnight and instructed everyone to leave for a “scheduled cleaning.” She explained to HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski that as she was leaving the park, she “felt what appeared to be a large figure” behind her grab her “up by the breast” and slam her into the ground.
McMillan claims she reacted by putting her hand on the officer’s. He pulled his hand away, she said, bringing her elbow into contact with his face. McMillan said the blow was not intentional, but subsequently sentenced to 90 days in prison for the second-degree assault of a police officer and sent to Rikers Island.
Her arrest sparked outrage and for the 58 days that she served, she said she endured serious brutality, including sexual assault:
I was locked up, hands and feet with my legs spread open, exposed in a storage closet with bloody rags all around. Officers were using this space to charge their cell phones, coming in and out, talking about how I needed a good hard you-know-what because I was obviously so out of control as a woman. It was not an environment in which I could have said, ‘Hey, you know what, you guys ought to listen to me, I was sexually assaulted by a police officer.’
Note: We strongly recommend listening to the full interview of Cecily on Huff Post Live.