Brooklyn, NY – Two New York lawyers are facing federal charges after being arrested for allegedly tossing a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD patrol vehicle early Saturday morning.
Human rights attorney Urooj Rahman, 31, and Princeton-educated Pryor Cashman LLP associate Colinford King Mattis, 32, have been charged with causing damage to a police vehicle by fire and explosives, The New York Times reported.
The attack, which occurred outside the NYPD’s 88th Precinct station house just before 1 a.m., was captured by security cameras, the New York Daily News reported.
The video showed Mattis as he drove up near the police station in a tan-colored 2015 Chrysler Town and Country, according to The New York Times.
Rahman jumped out of the passenger side of the van and made her way over to the parked patrol vehicle, then lit the fuse hanging out of a Bud Light beer bottle and tossed it into the cruiser through a window that had been busted out before their arrival.
The console of the patrol car ignited as the duo sped off in the minivan.
Officers witnessed the incident and immediately chased after the fleeing suspects.
They were pulled over and arrested several blocks away from the station, The New York Times reported.
Investigators found gasoline, toilet paper and a lighter in plan view inside the van.
Mattis and Rahman are both scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Monday.
In addition to his position at Pryor Cashman, Mattis also served on the East New York community board, The New York Post reported.
He was furloughed by the law firm in April, and his status is expected to be reviewed this week, Managing Partner Ronald Schechtman told the paper in a statement.
“As we confront critical issues around historic and ongoing racism and inequity in our society, I am saddened to see this young man allegedly involved in the worst kind of reaction to our shared outrage over what had occurred,” Schechtman said.
Rahman’s apartment superintendent, George Raleigh, said he was shocked to learn of her arrest, the New York Daily News reported.
“I can’t believe it. I’m stunned,” Raleigh said. “This kid? She’s an angel.”
The superintendent said he was sorry to hear that Rahman had gotten herself in trouble with the law, the New York Daily News reported.
“But if you want to play, you’re gonna pay,” he added.
Police said that neither suspect has a criminal history, according to the New York Daily News.
Attacks on law enforcement officers have become commonplace throughout the country in the wake of the May 25 in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd.
Floyd was pronounced dead at a hospital 90 minutes after he was arrested by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and three other officers.
Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest.
Officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.
Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.
According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The preliminary autopsy findings indicated Floyd had died from a combination of his underlying medical problems and possible intoxicants.