Outrage as prosecutors agree to slash sentences for pair of NYC lawyers who firebombed NYPD van during 2020 BLM riots: Face just two years behind bars instead of life
- NYC Police Union President outraged with two year sentencing instead of life for lawyers who torched an NYPD van by at 2020 Black Lives Matter riots
- Colinford Mattis, 35, a corporate attorney and Urooj Rahman, 33, a human rights lawyer, agree to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson
- Under the deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend an 18- to 24-month sentence, but a judge could still impose the maximum sentence of five years
- Patrick J. Lynch, president of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association, appalled said ‘the judge must reject this request’
A top police union boss has blasted the decision to dramatically-shorten the sentences for two lawyers who admitted firebombing an empty NYPD van during the 2020 BLM riots.
Patrick J. Lynch, President of the New York City Police Benevolent Association, hit out as it was revealed Colinford Mattis, 35, and Urooj Rahman, 33, now face just two years in jail.
The pair had originally faced up to life behind bars after torching the van in Brooklyn in May 2020, days after George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
But the disgraced former lawyers had their terrorism charges reduced to conspiracy to commit arson thanks to a plea deal, according to a letter filed Tuesday.
Prosecutors have said they’ll ask for the pair to be given between 18 and 24 months behind bars, although the sentencing judge has the discretion to impose a sentence of up to five years.
During a hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court in October 2021, the pair were still facing 10 years behind bars – but are now set to score a much lighter sentence.
Lynch told Fox News: ‘The judge must reject this request. There is absolutely no justification for lowballing the sentence for an anti-police terrorist attack.’
Colinford Mattis, 35, a corporate attorney (pictured above) agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson, according to a letter filed on Tuesday by prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York
A wrecked van is pictured after it was firebombed by two lawyers who now face just 18 months to 24 in jail
‘It’s bad enough that these dangerous criminals have been allowed to sit at home for the past two years,’ Lynch said.
‘Handing them a below-guidelines sentence would give a green light to other anti-police radicals who seek to advance their cause through violence. The judge must reject this request.’
Initially, Mattis – a corporate attorney – and human rights lawyer Rahman were looking at a 40-year mandatory minimum count and life imprisonment, when they were arrested on May 30 2020.
Despite the wanton destructiveness of their crimes, the firebug pair have spent most of the last two years in home confinement.
The government’s previous plan was a 10-year sentence with terrorism enhancement, based on an October 2021 Brooklyn federal court hearing which involved Mattis and Rahman each pleaded guilty to one count of possessing and making a destructive device.
Boss of the NYPD union Patrick Lynch, pictured, has condemned the short sentences
Tuesday’s letter asked that the U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan to convert a May 18 hearing scheduled for debate over the terrorism enhancement to a change of plea hearing, prosecutors said.
They the defendants’ lack of prior criminal history, plan to replace the original indictment, Law.com reported.
An initial complaint alleges that surveillance footage shown captured Rahman tossing a Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied NYPD vehicle parked near the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York, and then fleeing in a tan minivan. Mattis was the alleged getaway driver.
Cops chased the pair and are said to have noticed the equipment used to build the petrol bombs while placing them under arrest.
That included a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper, a liquid believed to be gasoline, and a tank filled with gasoline.