We have been discussing the case of attorneys Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, who are accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into an occupied police vehicle in New York. The case could prove an early opportunity for the Trump Administration to reframe prosecutions as domestic terrorism. Earlier, some of us were surprised that U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie upheld the $250,000 bail determination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Gold. Prosecutors presented evidence that they two attorneys were trying to distribute Molotov cocktails and suggested that Mattis did not appear rational. Now, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed Judge Brodie and the two attorneys are back in jail.
Both attorneys were bailed out. Rahman’s bail was paid for by friend and fellow attorney Salmah Rizvi, who served in the Defense Department and State Department during the Obama administration. She will now receive back her bail money.
The decision came quickly after a brief hearing held Friday morning. However, the Second Circuit also set an expedited schedule for a full appeal. Even for an interim order, it is relatively rare to have bail decisions reversed since they are imbued with factual determinations of the lower court,
The two attorneys reportedly have clean records, which works to their obvious benefit. The problem is the nature of the alleged crime and the effort to get others to attack police. Such conduct does suggest a threat to public safety, if true. On the other hand, they can be monitored on home confinement and the risk of the coronavirus still looms large for courts.