[Ed. – Too many admit they’re prejudiced against the Occupy Wall Street “movement.”]
It is the most important question being asked of dozens of New Yorkers lined up as potential jurors for the trial of Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street activist accused of assaulting a police officer: what do you think of her protest movement?
Unfortunately for those keen on the swift procession of justice, a series of Manhattan residents who presented themselves at the criminal courthouse this week declared that they strongly disagreed with it – and could not promise to be impartial about one of its members. …
“For 20 years, my occupation has been, in some fashion, on Wall Street,” said Jason McLean, who said he was an equity trader living in Murray Hill with his wife, who was also an equity trader. “Everything I believe – my morals – are kind of the antithesis of what they represent.” He concluded: “I don’t know that I could be completely objective.”
“I like to think of myself as fair,” Alan Moore, who said his wife worked on Wall Street as a bond strategist for Credit Suisse, told the judge. “But in terms of Occupy Wall Street in general, I would give less credibility to that group than average.” Even to a witness in court? “Yeah,” said Moore. “They seem to be people moving a little outside regular social norms and regular behaviour. Therefore I don’t give them the same level of respect as people who follow the line.”
Requests by McMillan’s attorneys to exclude both McLean and Moore from the jury were granted by the judge, despite being challenged by Erin Choi and Shanda Strain, the assistant district attorneys representing New York. Even they, however, conceded that Mary Malone – an Upper East Side resident who previously worked for a bond fund and said: “I have really strong feelings about Occupy Wall Street and the people involved” – and Peter Kaled, a corporate finance worker from the Upper West Side who said that one of his friends had policed Zuccotti Park at the height of the protests, should not make the cut.