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 because the police car was ’empty and already vandalized’ and because it’s a first time arrest for them both.
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.
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
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 diedMemorial Day while in police custody in Minneapolis
While Mattis was behind the wheel, Rahman then threw a beer bottle filled with gas into an empty NYPD van setting the dashboard on fire, according to prosecutors.
As Rahman and Mattis attempted to make their getaway they were stopped by police from the 88th Precinct who followed them.
Police found materials for making other Molotov cocktails in the minivan they were driving.
Cops found a bottle filled with what was suspected to be gasoline, toilet paper, several more bottles, a lighter and a gasoline canister.
Although no specifics have been revealed about the plea deal which was made on February 11, the defense are now looking over the offer, according to the New York Daily News.
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.’
Court filings charging Mattis and Rahman say NYPD surveillance cameras shot video footate of Rahman allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a cop vehicle parked outside the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn’s Fort Green section. Rahman is pictured in an image from the footage
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
The seven-count indictment against them includes charges of use of explosives, arson and conspiracy.
Rahman is a graduate of Fordham Law School
The pair were held in the Metropolitan Detention Center for almost a month before they were released to home confinement.
Rahman’s social media shows she graduated from Fordham University in New York. The super of Rahman’s building in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn described her as ‘an angel’ who recently lost her legal job. ‘I can’t believe it. I’m stunned. This kid? She’s an angel,’ George Raleigh said at the time of her arrest.
Mattis lives in East New York and graduated from Princeton University and New York University law school in 2016, according to his Linkedin page.
Mattis was an Ivy League graduate and had been an attorney at Pryor Cashman, a corporate law firm when the incident occurred.
Mattis lives in East New York and graduated from Princeton University and New York University law school in 2016, according to his Linkedin page
If the two plead guilty to the felonies, they would lose their licenses to practice law in New York state.
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.’