Two lawyers who chucked Molotov cocktails at NYPD vehicles during the 2020 George Floyd protests took a plea deal in Brooklyn federal court Thursday that could net them up to five years behind bars — or no time, depending on a judge’s decision.
Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman blew kisses and waved to their friends as they walked into federal court Thursday. Rahman’s ankle monitor was visible under her pants.
They pleaded guilty before Judge Brian Cogan to charges of conspiracy to commit arson and making and possessing an unregistered destructive device.
“If you don’t like the sentence, you won’t be able to withdraw your guilty plea,” Cogan warned the two lawyers, who will be automatically disbarred, and must also pay more than $30,000 restitution.
“Bottom line … you’re not going to know with any certainty what the sentencing will be.”
The duo initially faced up to life in prison. Rahman, 31 at the time of the May 30, 2020, protest, tossed a Bud Light bottle filled with gasoline into a parked NYPD car outside Brooklyn’s 88th Precinct, setting it ablaze, investigators said.
Mattis, 32 at the time, was Rahman’s getaway driver. When officers stopped their van, they found the makings of another Molotov cocktail in the back seat, along with a gasoline container.
After spending weeks in jail, Mattis and Rahman have spent nearly two years on home confinement.
“I deeply regret my actions,” Rahman said after her guilty plea. “I wish I had made different choices.”
“I wish I had made different choices that night,” Mattis said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Richardson said the government is recommending they spend five years in prison.
Earlier this month, prosecutors in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office steeply lowered the amount of prison time they were seeking — a decision decried by the Police Benevolent Association.
Both suspects said Thursday they were undergoing psychiatric care, and are taking several medications. Rahman said she has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression and mood instability, while Mattis said he spent a month at an in-patient rehab in May 2021 to treat alcoholism and depression.
Rahman is due back for sentencing on Sept. 29, and Mattis’ sentencing day is Oct. 5.
Neither they nor their supporters in court commented to reporters Thursday.
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