The Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan won a lenient sentence in court today.
McMillan, who was facing as much as seven years in prison, received three months in jail and five years probation from Judge Ronald Zweibel.
“A lengthy sentence would not serve the interests of justice in this case,” the judge said.
Earlier this month, McMillan was convicted of assaulting an officer in Zuccotti Park during the Occupy protests on March 17, 2012. She had pleaded innocent, insisting that she had reflexively elbowed the officer after he grabbed her from behind. She had bruises after her arrest.
Nine of the jurors in the case pleaded with the judge for leniency in the sentencing. She also got support from members of the New York city council, from two members of Pussy Riot, and from tens of thousands of people who signed an online petition urging that she get only time served. The two weeks she served in jail on Rikers Island will go toward her three months sentence, the judge said.
In a letter from Rikers Island on Sunday, McMillan thanked her supporters, saying that she “had never felt so loved.”
She also urged people to continue to protest against injustice.
“Please raise your hand if you have ever suffered police violence,” she wrote. “If you have suffered sexual violence. If you have suffered the violence of the justice system. If you have suffered the violence of the prison system.”
She wrote that a “collective love ethic” can counter such injustice.