Firebombing Attorneys Back in Custody After Appeals Court Revokes Bail

Two attorneys charged in connection with a Molotov cocktail attack on a New York Police Department vehicle are back behind bars.

Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman were originally on home detention after posting bail, but a U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that on Friday.

The pair was charged with an incident in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn early on May 30 in which an empty NYPD car was firebombed, according to CNN.

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The incident took place as part of nationwide riots over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

According to the charges against them, Rahman threw the explosive into the car while Mattis drove the vehicle they used, CNN reported.

According to CNN, court filings claimed that a witness said Rahman “attempted to distribute” Molotov cocktails to others “so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence.”

Do these two deserve to be behind bars pending trial?

According to CNN, prosecutor David Kessler told the appeals court Friday that home detention conditions “simply do not address the danger that’s been evidenced by the conduct.”

“[W]hat we are dealing with is two defendants who, despite being attorneys and not just knowing this is wrong but understanding the seriousness of these consequences, took a series of actions designed to cause damage and — designed or not — highly likely to inflict injury if not death,” he argued, according to CNN.

Paul Shechtman, Rahman’s attorney, pushed back against having his client put in jail.

Rahman “had no intent to harm anyone. This was an empty police vehicle, badly vandalized, one-and-a-half blocks from the police station. There were only two other people around, both of them were taking photographs. There was no crowd nearby,”  he said, according to CNN.

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In an interview from the day of the incident, according to the New York Post, Rahman said that protesters were “not targeting random people. They’re targeting precincts. It’s a way to show their pain, their anger,”

“I think this protest is a long time coming,” she said in the interview from May 30.

“This s–t won’t ever stop unless we f—in’ take it all down. And that’s why the anger is being expressed tonight in this way,” she said.

Rahman said violence against police was “understandable,” adding, “people are angry because the police are never held accountable.”

“This has got to stop. And the only way they hear, the only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use,” she said.

“We’ve got to use the massa’s tools, that’s what my friend always says,” she said.

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