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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Brooklyn lawyers who were facing life behind bars for 'throwing a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD car during a George Floyd protest' are quietly offered a plea deal

 Two Brooklyn lawyers who were facing life behind bars for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty NYPD car during a George Floyd protest have been quietly offered a plea deal. 

On May 29, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were arrested after a protest in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Cops say that Rahman crafted a Molotov cocktail out of a Bud Light bottle and threw it into an NYPD vehicle, then hopped into a getaway car being driven by Mattis.  

It was caught on surveillance cameras and she was even photographed in their minivan holding the homemade bomb.  They were then hit with a seven-charge indictment which alleged use of explosives, arson, arson conspiracy and use of an explosive to commit a felony. 

They both pleaded not guilty - not because they claim they didn't do it, but because they don't think the charges are called for. 

They said all they did was destroy property and attend a protest and that they were being made an example of by the very police they were protesting against.  

At the very least, they faced five years in prison but at worst, they could have been jailed for life.  On February 11, federal prosecutors however filed paperwork which confirmed they'd been offered a plea deal. 

No details of the deal were included in the papers but the two lawyers are now considering it, according to The New York Daily News. 

On May 29, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were pictured 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 counts, including felonies. They say it's disproportionate when all they did was destroy property

On May 29, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were pictured 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 counts, including felonies. They say it's disproportionate when all they did was destroy property

Lawyer who threw molotov cocktail at NYPD car blames de Blasio
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Urooj Rahman (above), 31, was arrested along with Colinford Mattis in the early morning hours of May 30
Colinford Mattis, 32,

Two Brooklyn lawyers, Urooj Rahman, 31, left and Colinford Mattis, 32, right, are accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty NYPD patrol car during the George Floyd protests last year have been offered a plea deal by federal prosecutors. 

The smoldering remains of a scorched police car pictured above vandalized during riots in Fort Greene in Brooklyn on Friday May 29

 The smoldering remains of a scorched police car pictured above vandalized during riots in Fort Greene in Brooklyn on Friday May 29

Prosecutors have asked for more time before the next status hearing in the case to 'enable defense counsel to review the plea offers with the defendants and for the parties to engage in further plea negotiations.' 

The pair were among a large crowd of people who protested in the leafy Brooklyn neighborhood on May 29, four days after Floyd's death in Minneapolis. 


They were seen driving past the NYPD vehicle in a minivan. 

Rahman rolled down her window and threw the beer bottle at it then they attempted to drive away but were caught. 

After being arrested and released from jail, she claimed spoke outside the police station to defend her actions. 

'What I saw was targeting a property. No property is above a human life. Destruction of property is nothing compared to the murder of a human life.

A police officer watches a crowd as a police vehicle burns near Fort Greene Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York after protesters rallied outside Barclays Center over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Memorial Day while in police custody in Minneapolis

A police officer watches a crowd as a police vehicle burns near Fort Greene Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York after protesters rallied outside Barclays Center over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Memorial Day while in police custody in Minneapolis

Urooj Rahman stands by the side of the sidewalk after being arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van in Brooklyn

Urooj Rahman stands by the side of the sidewalk after being arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van in Brooklyn

Colinford Mattis stands handcuffed on the street after being arrested for tossing a Molotov cocktail during unrest on Friday night

Colinford Mattis stands handcuffed on the street after being arrested for tossing a Molotov cocktail during unrest on Friday night

'I understand why people are doing it. It's a way to show their pain, their anger. 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 said. 

The pair were then indicted and held without bond - the dismay of their friends and family. 

At a virtual court hearing, Rahman was inundated with support from people who yelled over the judge 'we love you Rooj'. 

She spoke back to them and said at one point: 'I love you mom.' 

Prosecutors wanted to keep the pair behind bars but the judge released them on a $250,000 bond. 

They have always claimed they're being treated unfairly and that what cops perceive as privilege - that they are educated attorneys - is being used against them. 

Rahman is a graduate of Fordham Law School
Mattis lives in East New York and graduated from Princeton University and New York University law school in 2016, according to his Linkedin page

Rahman is a graduate of Fordham Law School

The seven-count indictment against them includes charges of use of explosives, arson and conspiracy. 

The pair were held in the Metropolitan Detention Center for almost a month before they were released to home confinement. 

At the time of the alleged acts NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea spoke out about the accusations made against Mattis and Rahman.

'Violence, like that alleged here, not only endangers our NYPD officers but threatens the constitutional right of people to peacefully protest. 

'These indictments by our federal partners reflect our joint condemnation of the kind of isolated acts a just society can never tolerate,' stated Shea. 

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said the defendants allegedly threw the homemade explosives at NYPD vehicles 'without regard for the potentially deadly consequences.'

'Such criminal acts should never be confused with legitimate protest.

'Those who carry out attacks on NYPD Officers or vehicles are not protesters, they are criminals, and they will be treated as such.'

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