Cornel West, Nineteen Others Convicted for Stop-and-Frisk Protest

Dr. Cornell West, philosopher, author, critic, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America, speaks to the crowd rallying in front of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles on October 7, 2011 in Southern California, following a prayer service and march by the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUPJ) with a call to action to stop the wars and fund jobs on the 10th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan.  The United States and Afghanistan marked 10 years since the US went to war against the Taliban, triggering a decade-long conflict that has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty people were brought to justice today for blocking the sidewalk during a protest last year against the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, which Cornell West called "extension of slavery" while testifying in his own defense. The violation is punishable by up to fifteen days in jail, which in this case feels a bit excessive.