Report: Lawyers charged in NYPD vehicle torching during Black Lives Matter protest offered plea deal

NEW YORK CITY, NY – The two lawyers who were indicted in relation to the torching of an NYPD van that occurred back on May 29th, 2020 have been reportedly offered a plea deal by federal prosecutors. 

It’s currently unclear what the schematics of this plea bargain are, nor is it clear if the defendants charged have accepted the deals presented. 

We at Law Enforcement Today have previously reported on the cases brought against Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis from the May 29th incident. 

Prosecutors allege that while riots and protests were ongoing outside of the 88 Precinct stationhouse, Rahman had allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van that was reportedly unoccupied at the time. 

The second suspect, Mattis, had then allegedly served as the getaway driver for Rahman; allegedly driving the two away from the scene after the van was engulfed in flames. 

However, the two suspects were reportedly arrested shortly after the incident occurred. 

In the latest update relating to the cases against the two attorneys, there was reportedly a plea bargain offered to the two on February 11th by Brooklyn federal prosecutors.

The exact details of what was on the plea deals isn’t clear – as in how much time would be served by either of the defendants in the event they accepted the plea deal. 

When charges against the two were originally filed, both Rahman and Mattis were potentially facing up to life in prison if convicted of the seven-count indictments that included use of explosives, arson, use of explosives to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder, and making or possessing a destructive device.

Reportedly, legal representation for the accused arsonists have yet to comment on the plea bargains as well. 

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In our last report related to this case, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on new evidence that was uncovered back in September of 2020. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – In August, Colinford Mattis and Uroof Rahman were two lawyers who were in the courtroom in a slightly different capacity.  Mattis was usually in the courtroom doing Pro Bono work and Raham was usually in the courtroom defending tenants facing evictions.

This time, however, the pair were the defendants. 

The have been labeled as domestic terrorists and are having to defend their actions that resulted in their arrest after a rather violent end to a Black Lives Matter riot/protest back in May.

It’s a far cry from their seemingly innocuous daily work.

The pair were part of the Black Lives Matters protestors that took to the streets of Brooklyn to protest the death of George Floyd earlier in the summer.  They were arrested for allegedly torching a police vehicle by setting it on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

Jonathan Tobin, a contributor from the National Review, explained the charges the pair faced federal charges due to the incident involving an explosive device.

They face “seven federal charges, including arson, conspiracy, and the commission of a ‘crime of violence’ employing what the law defines as a destructive device”.

The destructive device, Tobin explains:

“[M]eans that if they are convicted, they will have to automatically serve a sentence that is three times longer than if they had used a gun: a mandatory minimum term of 30 years. With the other charges thrown in each is looks at the possibility of ‘non-negotiable’ sentences of 45 years to life in prison.”

Back in 1980, the FBI formed a specialized task force called the Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

This Task Force is made up of officers from the NYPD and the FBI and used to root out threats to National Security. Since Mattis and Rahman allegedly used an explosive device, this task force was activated to investigate their case. 

According to a Buzz Feed article:

“FBI Agent Kyle Johnson filed a criminal complaint in federal court, and federal prosecutors informed local authorities that the US attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York was taking over the case” all before Brooklyn prosecutors had begun writing up their charges.

Even though the pair have gained sympathy throughout the mainstream media and the leftist media, there appears to be little doubt as to the pair’s innocence.

The Daily Beast even wrote a lengthy piece earlier this week complaining about the charges the pair faced, and stating that the Trump administration was attempting to use the pair to “crack down on the Black Lives Matter Protestors and to deliberately blur the lines between the folks who peacefully protest and those who engage in destruction”.

Tobin further states, back in May, during a rather violent protest regarding the death of George Floyd, Mattis and Rahman “were caught on camera throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty, already vandalized NYPD patrol car in Brooklyn”.   

In addition to the police surveillance video of the pair allegedly throwing the firebomb, a photographer captured a picture of Rahman, leaning out of the window of a car, holding what appeared to be an unlit Molotov cocktail.

Further evidence reveals Rahman, giving a filmed interview, in a rage over George Floyd’s death, saying:

This shit won’t ever stop unless we fucking take it all down.  We’re all in so much pain from how fucked up this country is toward black lives.

Rahman continues:

“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.”

This case will be an interesting one to watch, and hopefully one that will set a precedence for future cases that will inevitably stem from ongoing riots that continue to occur around our nation. 


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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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