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Lawyers accused of attack on cop car reportedly reach deal with feds

September 27, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Federal prosecutors have requested an Oct. 7 hearing with lawyers for two Brooklyn attorneys who were caught on video throwing what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail at a parked, empty police car during the George Floyd protests in May 2020. The two defendants and Brooklyn federal prosecutors have reached a plea deal, according to reports from both the New York Law Journal and Reuters published during the weekend.

Paul Schechtman, the lawyer for one of the two, Urooj Rahman, said they will plead guilty to one count of possessing or making a destructive device, according to Rahman’s. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, although the exact sentence itself will be decided by U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, EDNY.

If Rahman and co-defendant Colinford Mattis had been convicted of all charges, they would have received sentences of 45 years in jail. The original seven-count indictment was criticized by several former prosecutors because no one was injured during the attack, the Eagle reported in April 2021.

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Prosecutors had told U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan earlier this year that a plea offer extended to Mattis and Rahman would expire in September — this month.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, EDNY

Mattis, a 32-year-old corporate attorney at Pryor Cashman, and Rahman, a 31-year-old human rights lawyer, were accused of torching a police vehicle in the area of the 88th Precinct in Clinton Hill during an eruption of demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota police officer, the Associated Press.

As police and protesters faced off, surveillance cameras recorded Rahman hurling what prosecutors described as a Molotov cocktail into a police vehicle, setting fire to its console, near an NYPD station house.

Officers arrested the attorneys a short time later and found a lighter, a Bud Light beer bottle filled with toilet paper and a gasoline tank in the back of their minivan, prosecutors said. 

The two defendants had no prior criminal records. Mattis has since been suspended from his job at Pryor Cashman.

“Instead of using their privileged positions to change society lawfully, they used a Molotov cocktail and sought to incite others to adopt their violent ways,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing at the time.

In June 2020, Mattis and Rahman were released on bond with home confinement, according to published reports.

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