Brooklyn lawyers plead guilty to a charge in Molotov cocktail case tied to George Floyd protest

Brooklyn lawyers plead guilty to a charge in Molotov cocktail case tied to George Floyd protest

Posted: Oct 20, 2021 1:00 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2021 1:00 PM

Two lawyers who federal prosecutors say took part during an anti-police brutality protest last year in making a Molotov cocktail and throwing it at an empty New York Police Department vehicle have each pleaded guilty to one charge related to the incident.

Colinford Mattis, 34, and Urooj Rahman, 32, each pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Brooklyn courtroom to a count of knowingly making and possessing a destructive device -- one of several charges brought by prosecutors.

Each attorney could face up to 10 years in prison, US District Judge Brian Cogan said, adding the two would face "virtually certain disbarment." Both have been free on bond.

"I deeply regret my conduct, and wish I'd made better choices on that night," Mattis told Cogan during Wednesday's plea hearing. He noted he is being treated for substance abuse and completed inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse in May.

"I deeply regret my actions," Rahman told the judge, adding she is being treated for anxiety and depression by a psychiatrist and psychologist.

They are set to be sentenced February 8.

Mattis and Rahman were indicted in June 2020 on seven federal counts, including use of explosives, arson, using an explosive to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder and possessing and making a destructive device.

Neither has entered a plea on any other charges.

The defendants had taken part in protests in Brooklyn in late May over the death of George Floyd, federal prosecutors said. The Black man's killing in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, 2020, sparked demonstrations nationwide over police use of force.

At the Brooklyn protest, Rahman approached an empty NYPD vehicle with an already broken window and tossed in a makeshift explosive device, according to court filings.

She also "attempted to distribute Molotov cocktails to several other individuals and to incite them to use the Molotov cocktails in the course of the protests."

Rahman fled the scene in a van driven by Mattis, court records show. Police stopped the vehicle and found "precursor" items to build explosives, including a lighter, a Bud Light bottle filled with toilet paper and a gasoline tank.

During Wednesday's plea hearing, Assistant US Attorney Ian Richardson shared more evidence against Rahman and Mattis. It included a text message from Mattis on the night of the alleged incident that read, "Go burn down 1 PP (a nickname for the NYPD headquarters)" along with a Google Maps link with directions.

Prosecutors also have a video interview Rahman gave to a "citizen journalist" in which she said, "This has got to stop and the only way they hear us is through violence," Richardson said.

Neither defendant responded Wednesday in court to those accusations.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 912370

Reported Deaths: 9506
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1780492023
Ramsey736781043
Dakota67355574
Anoka63852570
Washington40349356
Stearns33475276
St. Louis29443403
Scott25842181
Wright25830216
Olmsted22258128
Sherburne18919126
Carver1661066
Clay12033104
Blue Earth1144868
Rice11410138
Crow Wing11170122
Chisago992378
Kandiyohi9800106
Otter Tail9758127
Benton9018125
Beltrami816094
Goodhue805597
Douglas7849100
Itasca769597
Mower731249
McLeod710983
Winona708657
Isanti697883
Steele682731
Morrison671579
Becker627174
Polk599484
Freeborn559646
Carlton543474
Mille Lacs529474
Lyon527261
Nobles524754
Nicollet521160
Pine512642
Cass500553
Todd490743
Brown469757
Le Sueur457733
Meeker431457
Martin385843
Wabasha373610
Waseca372332
Dodge359811
Hubbard354749
Roseau315531
Fillmore304315
Wadena301740
Redwood281245
Houston270717
Renville268051
Faribault257032
Pennington251030
Sibley251017
Kanabec248136
Cottonwood229232
Aitkin221550
Chippewa219442
Pope206710
Watonwan197420
Yellow Medicine187723
Rock177428
Koochiching176023
Swift172622
Stevens167011
Jackson160816
Clearwater157520
Marshall153122
Murray151811
Pipestone149529
Lake132224
Lac qui Parle122125
Wilkin120616
Mahnomen105914
Norman10489
Grant101110
Big Stone9465
Lincoln8745
Kittson73023
Red Lake71310
Unassigned629124
Traverse6056
Lake of the Woods5255
Cook3070

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 523052

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Unassigned66470
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Mostly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 50°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 44°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Tracking chances for rain and snow
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events