Lawyer Who Firebombed NYPD Car Blames ‘Unprocessed Trauma’ Prior to Sentencing

Urooj Rahman
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

The lawyer who firebombed a New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicle during a George Floyd riot claims she was suffering from “unprocessed trauma” at the time, the New York Post reported Saturday.

Thirty-three-year-old Urooj Rahman faces 18 months to two years behind bars and hopes to have her sentence commuted to time served, the outlet said.

Her lawyers claimed in a court filing Rahman had been drunk before she and lawyer Colinford Mattis torched the car in May 2020, the report continued:

“Tossing the Molotov cocktail was a way of expressing anger at those police officers around the country for whom black lives did not matter,” her lawyers wrote to Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Brian M. Cogan. “It was an act of protest intended to avoid exposing others to harm.”

Rahman’s lawyer rattled off a laundry list of excuses explaining her decision to chuck the explosive device. These included “early trauma” from being a Muslim in post-9/11 America; “abusive partnership relationships”; and “the injustices that she has witnessed here and abroad,” including assisting refugees in Istanbul and Athens and helping low-income tenants in New York avoid eviction.

Rahman can be seen discussing the riots in a 2020 interview:

In October last year, Rahman and Mattis pleaded guilty to one count of possessing or making a destructive device.

“Prosecutors said Rahman threw a gasoline-filled bottle into an empty police car during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Rahman then fled the scene in a minivan driven by Mattis,” per Breitbart News.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 30: A police car is fired with fire during the protest in response to the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota police, on May 30, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The protests spread across cities in the U.S., and in other parts of the world. (Photo by Pablo Monsalve / VIEWpress via Getty Images)

A police car on fire during the protest in response to the death of George Floyd, on May 30, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Pablo Monsalve / VIEWpress via Getty Images)

In June, Rahman and Mattis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and making and possessing an unregistered destructive device, according to the Post.

Images of the pair showed the young woman wearing a T-shirt depicting an upheld fist with the words “The Struggle Continues Regardless” printed on it:

According to a June 2020 article, the pair also reportedly tried to hand out firebombs to others as the rioting continued.

“Mattis is reportedly a graduate of Princeton University and the New York University School of Law and member of Brooklyn Community Board 5. Rahman is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and was admitted to the bar last summer,” Breitbart News reported at the time.

Per the Post article, Rahman’s sentencing was scheduled for November.


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