New York Lawyers Plead Guilty In BLM Molotov Cocktail Case
Two New York lawyers pleaded guilty on Wednesday for their roles in a Molotov cocktail attack during May 2020 protests sparked by George Floyd’s death, Reuters reported.
Prosecutors said that lawyer Urooj Rahman, threw a gasoline-filled bottle into an empty police vehicle, attempted handing out Molotov cocktails to others, and then ran away from the scene in a minivan driven by Colinford Mattis.
The incident occurred during the Brooklyn riots related to outrage over the death of George Floyd.
Rahman, 32, and Mattis, 34, both pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn on a single count of possessing or making a destructive device.
“I deeply regret my conduct and wish I had made better choices on that night,” Mattis said.
Both lawyers reportedly expressed regret for their actions and acknowledged that they would likely be disbarred from the practice as a result of their guilty pleas.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan set up a sentence planned to start on February 8th. The lawyers are facing up to 10 years in prison under a terrorism-related sentencing provision.
“The terrorism enhancement is going to be a big issue. I have no idea where I’m going to come out on that,” Cogan said.
Rahman’s lawyer, Paul Shechtman, said that the two “do not deserve a prison sentence for conduct that occurred in the heat of the moment on one of the most heated nights in modern American history.”
The two lawyers garnered a large amount of sympathy from others as well, with South African human rights lawyer Richard Spoor sharing a story of the two before expressing his sympathies.
“A terribly sad story,” Spoor posted. Two young and idealistic lawyers get wrapped up in the BLM protest movement. In a moment of madness, they throw a Molotov cocktail into an abandoned police car and burn it. Now they face a minimum of 35 years in federal prison.”