New York City federal prosecutors are seeking a lenient sentence for a pair of lawyers who used Molotov cocktails to torch NYPD vehicles during the George Floyd riots in May 2020. Under a plea deal, prosecutors are recommending sentences of just 18-24 months.
In a letter filed Tuesday, prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, both attorneys from Brooklyn, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson. Under the deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend an 18- to 24-month sentence, but a judge could still impose the maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to Fox News.
The government had previously planned on seeking 10-year sentences with terrorism enhancements. This was discussed during an October 2021 Brooklyn federal court hearing during which Mattis and Rahman each previously pleaded guilty to one count of possessing and making a destructive device.
The original indictment included a 40-year mandatory minimum charge, according to N.Y. Daily News.
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) August 8, 2020
The two NYC lawyers initially spent multiple weeks in jail, but were soon released to home confinement, where they have spent the last two years.
“There is absolutely no justification for lowballing the sentence for an anti-police terrorist attack,” Patrick J. Lynch, president of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement.
“It’s bad enough that these dangerous criminals have been allowed to sit at home for the past two years,” Lynch added. “Handing them a below-guidelines sentence would give a green light to other anti-police radicals who seek to advance their cause through violence. The judge must reject this request.”
According to an NYPD criminal complaint, surveillance camera recorded then 31-year-old Rahman tossing a Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied NYPD vehicle parked near the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York, and then fleeing in a tan minivan. Mattis, then 32, was the getaway driver.
When the pair were eventually stopped by police, officers observed materials that are used to make Molotov cocktails in the back of the van. Observed items included a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper, liquid suspected to be gasoline near the passenger seat and a gasoline tank.
Leftists had hoped that Biden’s federal prosecutor would review the case of the Molotov-throwing lawyers, as their arrest and guilty pleas took place while Trump was still president.