Criminal Justice

2 lawyers are charged with Molotov cocktail attack on cop car; 1 is Pryor Cashman associate

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A furloughed Pryor Cashman associate and a second lawyer were charged Saturday in a Molotov cocktail attack on a New York City police car.

Pryor Cashman associate Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, who was described as a human rights lawyer in a Facebook post, were charged with causing damage to a police vehicle by fire and explosives, report the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, the New York Daily News and Law360.

The attack allegedly happened early Saturday morning, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York.

A New York Police Department surveillance camera recorded Rahman tossing a Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied police car in Brooklyn before fleeing in a tan minivan driven by Mattis, the press release says.

Rahman allegedly threw the device through a previously broken window on the police car, which set fire to the vehicle’s console, according to the criminal complaint.

Officers pursued the minivan, which was owned by Mattis, according to the press release and the complaint. When police stopped the vehicle, they found items inside that could be used to build more Molotov cocktails, including a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper and liquid suspected to be gasoline.

The attack happened during protests over the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer held Floyd down by kneeling on his neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Mattis, 32, is a member of Pryor Cashman’s corporate group. He is a 2016 graduate of the New York University School of Law who attended Princeton University as an undergraduate. He was an associate at Holland & Knight before joining Pryor Cashman.

Rahman, 31, is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law. The superintendent of Rahman’s building told the New York Daily News that she is “an angel” who recently lost her job.

Ronald Shechtman, managing partner at Pryor Cashman, said in a statement released to several publications that Mattis was furloughed in April. The firm’s executive committee will review Mattis’ employment status when more information is available.

“While we were already living in fraught times, the terrible situation around the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has added painful stress to our lives,” Shechtman said. “As we confront critical issues around historic and ongoing racism and inequity in our society, I am saddened to see this young man allegedly involved in the worst kind of reaction to our shared outrage over what had occurred.”

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