ARTICLES

  • LAWYERS CHARGED WITH SEVEN FELONIES IN MOLOTOV COCKTAIL ATTACK OUT ON BAIL

    A surveillance camera is said to have recorded it all: a woman in a black t-shirt stepping out of a tan minivan; the lighting of a toilet-paper fuse, the arc of a beer bottle filled with fuel as it was thrown onto the dashboard of an empty police car. That act of vandalism, in the early hours of May 30, is why two Brooklyn lawyers are fighting federal explosives charges and could face as much as life in prison. They had been sitting in a New York jail until Tuesday night, after a government effort to keep them behind bars failed.

    NPR

  • HOW MANDATORY MINIMUMS ARE WEAPONIZED

    After a protest, two Brooklyn lawyers are each facing 45 years behind bars.

    In the early morning hours of May 30, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman were arrested in Brooklyn after a night of citywide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. They are charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail through the broken window of an unoccupied police car. No one was hurt. Both have plead not guilty, but if they are convicted of the array of federal charges leveled against them, there will be no judging involved when they are sentenced: They will face mandatory sentences of 45 years in prison.

    The New York Times

  • THE PEOPLE ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING POLICE ARE IN DANGER

    The full weight of the carceral system is against them.

    Right before Christmas 2014, police killed a Black 18-year-old, Antonio Martin, in Berkley, Missouri—two miles away from Ferguson. Josh Williams, also 18 at the time, became a known and prominent activist in the protests that erupted over Martin’s death. During the unrest, Williams was allegedly seen on camera taking chips and lighting a small fire in a QuikTrip trash can, which was quickly put out and caused no serious damage. He had no prior record. The judge sentenced him to 8 years, the longest sentence of any Ferguson protester.

    SLATE

  • SUPPORTERS OF ATTORNEY ACCUSED IN MOLOTOV COCKTAIL CASE SPEAK OUT DURING ARRAIGNMENT

    Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the hearing for Colinford Mattis, a suspended corporate law associate at Pryor Cashman, was held by conference call, which was briefly interrupted by enthusiastic supporters.

    LAW.com

  • LEGAL EXPERTS QUESTION USE OF FEDERAL LAW TO PROSECUTE TORCHING OF EMPTY NYPD PATROL CAR DURING PROTESTS

    Federal prosecutors argue that damaging a police vehicle is a violation of federal statutes in part because the police department receives federal funding. Former prosecutors and law professors say it’s an absurd rationale driven by politics of the Justice Department.

    The Appeal

  • WHY TWO LAWYERS ACCUSED OF TOSSING MOLOTOV COCKTAILS AT NYPD CAR COULD FACE LIFE IN PRISON

    IA federal appeals court panel will hear arguments Tuesday on whether two attorneys accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty police car in Brooklyn, during a protest against the police killing of George Floyd, should be held in jail until their trial. 

    Gothamist

  • TWO BROOKLYN LAWYERS ACCUSED OF THROWING MOLOTOV COCKTAILS ARE THE PUBLIC FACE OF TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT

    THE KILLING OF George Floyd by Minneapolis police in late May ignited protests in cities and towns across the United States. These largely peaceful demonstrations have been punctuated by acts of violence, frequently committed by the police themselves. But other incidents of both violence and property destruction have also been reported. Among them was the case of two young Brooklyn lawyers accused of burning the dashboard of a New York Police Department cruiser — a case that has become a flashpoint in the Trump administration’s legal and public relations response to the protests.

    The Intercept

  • 2 LAWYERS OF COLOR FACE 45-YEAR SENTENCES — FOR VANDALISM

    In a high school English assignment in which students were asked to describe themselves as a metaphor, Colinford King Mattis had a lot of fun with his essay. 

    Mattis described himself as a piece of vintage furniture that you aren’t sure you want, but you bring it home anyway and put it in a room — and it somehow perfectly brings the room together, and you don’t know how you lived without it in the first place.

    Huff Post

  • HOW TWO PROMISING LAWYERS FOUND THEMSELVES FACING LIFE IN PRISON FOR ALLEGED MOLOTOV COCKTAIL ATTACK DURING PROTESTS IN NY

    New York (CNN) On an early October evening in 2014, a group of New York University law school students gathered for a joint birthday party at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a popular bar and music venue a few blocks from campus.

     

    One of the birthday celebrants, Colinford Mattis, quickly hit it off with another guest, Urooj Rahman, who was studying law at Fordham. Both raised in Brooklyn, the two bonded over their professional interest in human rights and their engagement in local politics, becoming friends from there on.

    CNN

  • 56 FORMER PROSECUTORS WRITE TO APPEALS COURT IN SUPPORT OF BAIL FOR LAWYERS ACCUSED OF THROWING MOLOTOV COCKTAIL AT POLICE VEHICLE

    NEW YORK — Over 50 former federal prosecutors are urging an appeals court to cast aside the government's ongoing detention bid for a pair of activists — attorneys by trade — charged in a molotov cocktail attack on a marked police car, on a violence-ridden night of protests after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

    The Washington Post

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