New York Attorneys Accused of Firebombing Police Car Given Generous Plea Deal

We previously discussed the cases of attorneys Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, who were accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a police vehicle in New York. They were facing domestic terrorism charges and the possibility of 30 years in jail. This week, the Biden Administration agreed to a massive reduction of the charges in a plea agreement that will likely result only in a couple years of jail time. What is particularly bizarre is that the plea agreement reduces an earlier plea agreement for a more serious offense.

The plea deal by the Justice Department is a breathtaking reduction in the charges and expected sentencing of the two lawyers.

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 the two attorneys were trying to distribute Molotov cocktails and suggested that Mattis did not appear rational.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed Judge Brodie and the two attorneys were sent back to jail. (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).

Notably, Rahman and Mattis pleaded guilty last year to one count of possessing and making an explosive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Now, however, they will be allowed to withdraw the earlier plea and instead plead guilty to conspiring to assemble the Molotov cocktail and damage the New York Police Department patrol car. That is a nosebleed of a drop in the severity and punishment for this violent attack.

It is a sharp contrast to the harsh position taken by the Biden Justice Department on many of those accused of rioting on January 6th. Attorney General Merrick Garland cited the threat to police officers in pledging an unprecedented effort to charge and convict those involved “on any level” in the riot.

Conspiring to assemble the Molotov cocktail and damage the New York Police Department patrol car does not quite capture what these two attorneys did during the violent riot in New York. Rahman was caught on video throwing the firebomb and then fleeing the scene.  Colinford Mattis was accused of having a store of firebombs in his vehicle and was videotaped as he attempted to hand them out to other rioters to fuel further violence. Rahman later was unapologetic and declared to reporters that “the only way they hear us is through violence.”

That does not seem the type of the suspects who would ordinarily garner deep sympathy from prosecutors. Yet, the Biden Administration walked back the charges, unraveled the earlier plea to a lesser offense, and told that court that the earlier charges would have resulted in “excessive sentencing” for the attorneys. Instead, they are supporting a maximum sentence of five years with a recommendation of between 18 to 24 months imprisonment.

Attorney General Garland just last month honored law enforcement killed in the line of duty. This plea agreement is likely to infuriate many of those families given strength of the case and the severity of the conduct. These two attorneys were participating in an effort that could have burned officers alive as a form of protest. They will now be given sentences closer to tax fraud than terrorism.

As previously discussed, Mattis was a member of the Corporate Group at Pryor Cashman when he was arrested. Mattis graduated from New York University School of Law in 2016 and received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He was also previously employed as an associate at Holland & Knight.  Rahman was just admitted to the New York bar in June 2019 after graduating from Fordham University School of Law.

Both lawyers will be permanently disbarred and will have to pay restitution to the city of New York.

101 thoughts on “New York Attorneys Accused of Firebombing Police Car Given Generous Plea Deal”

  1. That these 2 CRIMINALS were given extremely light ‘possible’ sentences shows how biased and unfair the democrats are. They should have had a minimum sentence of 10 years EACH. They ARE CRIMINALS. I hope that people follow up and make sure that these 2 NEVER practice law again or are allowed to work in any legal related field. I would not doubt that if not watched, these 2 would retain their law licenses. The Young Lawyers group stands by them, as if, they are such upstanding citizens and are being overly punished for a momentary act of bad judgment – HOGWASH. They are criminals, and what they did was harmful to people and to a city and could have caused the deaths of others. The punishment they are likely to receive is NOT enough.

  2. Of course they got a slap on the wrist.

    Nothing to see here.

    Ignore the burned and looted cities by the Left. Nope. It’s the KKK and Nazis, apparently, who are the real threat to America. It’s racist to expound on all the cops assaulted or murdered by BLM activists. Ignore BLM’s attacks on Jewish people and businesses. Ignore the total normalization of black racism against whites and Latinos.

    Nope. It’s white people who are a threat to society.

    Having a negative view of an entire race is no longer the definition of racist. Now, it just means you’re white.

    Are you a black person who thought it wasn’t cool to do well in school, dropped out, had a kid out of wedlock by a man who took off on you, and you’re now poor with no prospects? It’s a white person’s fault. Are you a gang member who’s terrorized the community until employers took jobs out of the neighborhood? Blame a white person! It’s certainly not your responsibility to do anything right.

    If punctuality, personal responsibility, studying hard, staying out of trouble, and waiting to have kids until marriage made Asians, on average, the most successful, then by all means call those behaviors “whiteness” and make it racist to expect them. That’ll guarantee more failure, more angst, more poverty, more anger, and thus easier to blame white Republicans so that Democrats can get voted into office forever.

    Seems like a smart move.

    1. Well said, Karen S. This is still a free country with opportunities to turn your life around at any stage. If not for every single person presently down and out, then at least for the overwhelming number of those now in unfortunate circumstances. But leaders of those communities and politicians muddle the message that a very substantial number of those now in seemingly hopeless circumstances can turn it around. It’s never easy for any one, even for those more fortunate, but it’s far from being beyond the grasp. It’s not even rocket science and surely not luck.

      Start with high school diploma or GED. Get a job, start with any job. Work your way up. Don’t suffer unfair or greedy boses, move on, but have another job before you quit. Don’t have children with someone who is then incapable of helping you support them. If you marry, do it for the right reasons and don’t get divorced. And, this is my addition to these tried and true rules: If you have any touch with law enforcement, cooperate even though you know you are right and the cop is wrong. You can straighten it out later after you get free or low cost attorney help. My experience is that “yes, sir” and “no, sir” at the scene of the traffic stop or other encounter pays dividends when you meet up in a court of law with your attorney, particularly on any traffic offense. When the cop remembers you as a person who cooperated and was respectful at the time of the ticket or the arrest. It doesn’t matter if your cooperative demeanor is strictly self-interested and you resent law enforcement. This is self preservation and not making life more difficult than it has to be. This is the sure-fire recipe for sucess.

      Something inside must cause your realization that, to survive and prosper, the unlucky cards dealt to you in life may be from incompetent parenting, may be from association with those who lied to you, cheated you, or subjugated your will, may be from youthful inexperience or naivete, or a foolish belief, like drugs won’t harm you. But you can identify those and rise above.

      Ninety-eight percent of anyone’s troubles can be linked to racism, sexism, or other bigotry. The agenda of the main stream media to report “news” is to sensationalize the “isms,” but that is a false sense of what is actually going on.

      Anyway, Karen S, I thought that needed to be said along side your point.

    2. The joke among law enforcement is that there about 1500 actual white supremacists in the US and half of them are undercover FBI agents. That proved true in the Whitmer case, yet leftists still see this nearly imaginary force as an existential threat.

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