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Brooklyn lawyers charged in Molotov cocktail attack on NYPD cruiser
Two Brooklyn lawyers, including an Ivy League graduate corporate attorney, are facing federal charges over accusations they tossed a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD vehicle early Saturday morning during a protest over the police killing of George Floyd.
Colinford Mattis, 32, a corporate lawyer and member of Community Board 5 in East New York, was charged along with fellow attorney Urooj Rahman with the attempted attack on an empty police cruiser parked outside the 88th Precinct station house in Fort Greene.
“This is shocking news to me,” Andre Mitchell, president of Community Board 5 told the Daily News. “The allegation does surprise me because that doesn’t sound like him.”
The super of Rahman’s building called her “an angel” who recently lost her legal job.
“I can’t believe it. I’m stunned,” said George Raleigh, the super of Rahman’s building in Bay Ridge. “This kid? She’s an angel.”
Mayor de Blasio Sunday blamed outside “anarchist” for the violence that erupted in New York over the weekend. But Mattis is a corporate lawyer with Times Square law firm Pryor Cashman.
Authorities say Rahman, 31, tossed a bottle filled with gasoline through a broken window into the cruiser just before 1 am Saturday but the Molotov cocktail failed to ignite. Rahman jumped into a van driven by Mattis and they sped off, court papers allege.
The attempted torching was captured by video surveillance cameras outside the precinct stationhouse on DeKalb Ave., according to court papers.
Cops gave chase and stopped the van nearby on Willoughby St. They found the makings of another Molotov cocktail in the back seat along with a gasoline container, authorities say.
“No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at police officers and vehicles is justified,” said Brooklyn U.S Attorney Richard Donoghue.
Neither Rahman nor Mattis have been arrested before, authorities say. They face federal charges and will be arraigned Monday.