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Mon Mar 31, 2014, 05:45 PM

Theater of Justice

by Molly Crabapple

Last week, I sketched an evidentiary hearing for a woman named Cecily McMillan.

Two years ago, I'd seen Cecily convulse in handcuffs as the police shut down an Occupy Wall Street protest. Cecily was an organiser. A plain-clothes cop had grabbed her breast from behind, hard enough to leave a bruise shaped like his handprint. Instinctively, she elbowed him. Most women would do the same if a man grabbed them from behind.

The cops beat Cecily till they broke her ribs. As she had a seizure on the pavement, the crowd screamed for the police to call 911. The police just watched.

Two years later, Cecily is charged with assaulting an officer. She faces seven years in prison.

In that fake-wood courtroom in lower Manhattan, the judge told Cecily's lawyer the fact that her arresting officer had beaten up other people was not relevant to her case. His records would be sealed. Afterward, addressing her supporters, Cecily tried to hide the tremor in her voice.

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http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/theater-of-justice

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