Authorities: Attorneys Who Hurled Molotov Cocktail During Brooklyn Protest Tried to Distribute Firebombs

New York attorneys Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman pleaded guilty to federal charges on
Photo: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York

Two individuals accused of throwing molotov cocktails at a New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicle during the protests engulfing Brooklyn over the weekend reportedly tried to distribute firebombs to others, authorities revealed on Monday.

The two attorneys, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, reportedly hurled a molotov cocktail at a police vehicle in the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene Saturday as tensions escalated in the area. According to a detention memo from federal prosecutors, the two attorneys were also “allegedly trying to pass out the homemade explosive devices,” according to the New York Post:

The two were busted by cops after Mattis, who was in the driver’s seat, pulled the van over near the precinct, and Rahman allegedly got out and tossed a lit Molotov cocktail into a cop car.

Images from the detention memo purport to show a masked Rahman clutching a Molotov cocktail made from a Bud Light bottle.

Per the DOJ’s release:

As detailed in the complaint charging Mattis and Rahman, an NYPD surveillance camera recorded Rahman tossing a Molotov Cocktail at an unoccupied NYPD vehicle parked near the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York and then fleeing in a tan minivan.  Officers pursued the minivan and arrested Rahman and Mattis, who was the vehicle’s driver.  The NYPD recovered several precursor items used to build Molotov Cocktails, including a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper and a liquid suspected to be gasoline in the vicinity of the passenger seat and a gasoline tank in the rear of the vehicle.

Prosecutors said officers, during the arrest, “observed in plain view several precursor items used to build a Molotov cocktail, including a lighter, a Bud Light beer bottle filled with toilet paper, a liquid suspected to be gasoline in the vicinity of the passenger seat ,and a gasoline tank in the rear of the vehicle.”

A witness also told authorities that “Rahman attempted to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence.”

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.

“These defendants are charged with attacking the New York City Police Department while its police officers are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all,” Richard Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said of the incident.

He added:

No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at Police Officers and vehicles is justified.  The Eastern District of New York will do everything in its power to protect those who protect us all, and we will ensure that criminals who use the camouflage of lawful protest to launch violent attacks against Police Officers face justice.”

Both Mattis and Rahmin face federal charges.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced on Monday a citywide curfew, taking effect at 11:00 p.m EST:


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