Briefs: Occupty Wall St activist found guilty; Albuquerque council occupied; study finds health insurance saves millions of lives

Saturday, May 10, 2014

United States: Occupy activist assaulted by police found guilty of assault

An Occupy Wall Street activist has been found guilty of second-degree assault and could face seven years in prison for elbowing a police officer, Democracy Now! said on May 6.

Cecily McMillan was arrested in March 2012 as protesters tried to re-occupy Zuccotti Park. She says she struck out instinctively after her breast was grabbed from behind by an officer, then suffered a seizure as officers pinned her down. Days later, she appeared on Democracy Now! covered in bruises, at least one in the shape of a handprint, over her right breast. She is being held without bail.

United States: Albuquerque residents occupy council after police shooting

Residents in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have taken over a city council meeting following another fatal police shooting, Democracy Now! said on May 7. Armand Martin was shot dead after firing two handguns at police outside his home.

The case has fuelled criticism after a Justice Department report that found a pattern of excessive force in some 25 killings by police since 2010. On May 5, activists stormed a city council session, demanding the firing of Albuquerque’s police chief.

United States: Health insurance expansion could save thousands of lives

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found the death rate dropped in Massachusetts after it adopted a 2006 healthcare reform law expanding insurance coverage to the vast majority of residents.

The decline suggests expanding health insurance could save tens of thousands of lives nationwide. Over the four years after the law went into effect, the Massachusetts mortality rate fell by about 3%, a drop equivalent to 17,000 fewer deaths annually on a national scale. The lower death rate was steepest in areas with the highest proportions of poor and previously uninsured residents.