Feds Offer Plea Deal to Brooklyn Lawyers Charged in NYPD Molotov Attack

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

Federal prosecutors filed paperwork confirming that the two attorneys who allegedly threw a “molotov cocktail” into a squad car have been offered deals to reduce their sentences.

Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were facing potential life sentences for seven charges; among them use of explosives, arson, and conspiracy. On May 29, the pair allegedly made an incendiary device from a bottle of beer, then threw it into a squad car during one of many riots that occurred after the death of George Floyd.

The two were caught on a surveillance camera, with Rahman purportedly holding the bottle in her hand just before the attack. Authorities later say they discovered another unused firebomb in the same vehicle on that video.

The two lawyers were pursued and arrested but pled not guilty. Their plea was not based on innocence but an argument that they were wrongly charged and being used as an example by the same people they were protesting. The details of the February 11 plea deal have not been released.

Mattis — a corporate attorney with Pryor Cashman until he was furloughed last spring — graduated from both Princeton University and New York University law school. Rahman graduated from Fordham University Law School. Both were held for a month without bail in the Metropolitan Detention Center, but the court eventually granted them release on respective $250,000 bonds.

After her release from custody, Rahman spoke to the press outside the precinct. “What I saw was targeting a property. No property is above a human life,” she said. “Destruction of property is nothing compared to the murder of a human life.”

“I understand why people are doing it. It’s a way to show their pain, their anger,” the Fordham Law School graduate said at the time, continuing:

I think the mayor should have pulled his police department back, the way that the mayor in Minneapolis did. I think that the mayor should have done that because if he really cared about his police officers, he should have realized that it’s not worth them getting hurt.

“This is the way people show their anger and frustration. Nothing else works,” she added.

According to court documents, prosecutors requested additional time to “enable defense counsel to review the plea offers with the defendants and for the parties to engage in further plea negotiations.”


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