Two attorneys have been disbarred after pleading guilty in June to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty police vehicle during the 2020 riots following George Floyd’s death.
Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman were retroactively disbarred on Tuesday by New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, Reuters reported. The court determined that the pair qualified for automatic disbarment due to their earlier guilty pleas and retroactively dated the beginning of their disbarment for June 2 – the day the two admitted to conspiracy to commit arson and possession of an explosive device.
At the time they pleaded guilty, Mattis and Rahman acknowledged to U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan that they knew they would lose their law licenses.
Rahman was caught on camera throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty New York Police Department vehicle in May 2020 in Brooklyn during civil unrest in response to Floyd’s death while he was in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Rahman was later arrested for the crime and charged alongside Mattis.
The pair set the vehicle on fire in front of other police officers and then drove away in Mattis’ van. They were quickly apprehended and found to have another homemade incendiary device, as well as the ingredients to make more. Prosecutors alleged Rahman also offered Molotov cocktails to others at the protest.
Prior to throwing the Molotov cocktail, Rahman gave an interview in which she said: “This s*** won’t ever stop unless we f***ing take it all down. We’re all in so much pain from how f***ed up this country is toward black lives. This has got to stop, and the only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use. ‘You got to use the master’s tools.’ That’s what my friend always says,” The Daily Wire previously reported.
A year before they pleaded guilty to conspiracy, the pair pleaded guilty to possessing and making an explosive device, which could have landed them in jail for up to ten years. But in June 2022, they withdrew their guilty pleas for that charge and pleaded instead to the conspiracy charges, which carried a maximum sentence of five years.
Prosecutors recommend 18 to 24 months in prison for each Rahman and Mattis, less than half the maximum allowable sentence, and a fine of $30,137 in restitution to New York City. Rahman’s sentencing is scheduled for November 18, while Mattis is expected to be sentenced on December 16.