New York lawyers who ‘threw a Molotov cocktail at the NYPD car’ were given 90 days to accept a plea deal
Federal prosecutors told a judge on Thursday that they have offered a plea deal to two lawyers in Brooklyn accused of setting fire to an empty police vehicle amid demonstrations in New York City last year following the death of George Floyd.
US District Judge Brian Cogan set lawyers a 90-day term for Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman to accept the government’s offer or to pursue charges, including arson conspiracy, that could land them nearly 50 years in prison .
The US attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the attorneys for both attorneys declined to comment on the plea negotiations, which have been ongoing for several weeks.
The seven count indictment has been criticized by several former prosecutors as disproportionate, largely because no one was injured in the attack. The lawyers can face at least 45 years in prison if convicted.
Mattis, a corporate attorney, and Rahman, a human rights attorney, are charged with setting fire to an empty New York City Police Department vehicle on May 29 last year.
The alleged event took place during a Black Lives Matter protest four days after George Floyd’s death.
Mattis and Rahman are due to appear in court again on July 1.
Two Brooklyn attorneys, Urooj Rahman, 31, left and Colinford Mattis, 32, were given 90 days to accept a plea deal or go ahead with a lawsuit after being charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle last May
On May 29, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were depicted at a protest in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. She threw a Molotov cocktail at an empty NYPD van and the pair were later charged with seven charges, including felonies.
Mattis and Rahman have both pleaded not guilty, as they don’t believe the charges are being solicited against them.
They say they have only destroyed property and are being exemplified by the police they were protesting against.
Last year, Rahma stated in a media interview: ‘What I saw was focused on a home. No property is better than a human life. Property destruction is nothing compared to the murder of a human life.
This is how people show their anger and frustration. Nothing else works, ”she added.
On May 29, 2020, surveillance cameras reportedly recorded Rahman as she described what prosecutors described as a Molotov cocktail while sitting in the passenger seat of a minivan.
The cocktail hit an NYPD cruiser, parked near the 99th Precinct in Fort Greene. T.The pair quickly tried to escape from the scene in the minivan – driven by Mattis.
Officers gave chase and arrested the lawyers.
Police claimed they found a lighter, a beer bottle filled with toilet paper and a gas tank in the back of the vehicle.
Rahman is a graduate of Fordham Law School. Mattis, meanwhile, graduated from Princeton before attending New York University Law School
Rahman and Mattis were held at the Metropolitan Detention Center for nearly a month before being released to house arrest.
At the time of the alleged acts, NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea spoke out about the allegations against the couple.
Violence, as claimed here, not only endangers our NYPD officers but also threatens people’s constitutional right to protest peacefully.
“These charges by our federal partners reflect our joint condemnation of the kind of isolated acts that a just society can never tolerate,” said Shea.
The remains of a scorched police car were destroyed during riots in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood on May 29. This is a different vehicle from the one reportedly targeted by Rahman and Mattis.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said the defendants reportedly thrown the homemade explosives at NYPD vehicles “without regard to the potentially deadly consequences.”
Such criminal acts should never be confused with legitimate protest.
“Those who attack NYPD agents or vehicles are not protesters, they are criminals and will be treated as such.”
Rahman is a graduate of Fordham Lae School.
Mattis, meanwhile, graduated from Princeton before attending New York University Law School.
A police officer watches a crowd as a police car burns near Fort Greene on May 29