Ivy League-Educated Lawyer Accused Of Hurling Molotov Cocktail Into Empty NYPD Cruiser

Written by Ann Brown
An Ivy League-educated Brooklyn lawyer is accused of hurling a Molotov cocktail into an empty New York Police Department cruiser. He faces 20 years in prison.

An Ivy League-educated lawyer and member of a community board is among those accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a marked NYPD car amid George Floyd protests.

Brooklyn lawyer Colinford Mattis, 32, was allegedly behind the wheel of a tan minivan at 1 a.m. on May 30 when his passenger, fellow attorney Urooj Rahman, allegedly tossed the incendiary at an empty NYPD vehicle outside a police precinct in Brooklyn, The New York Post reported. The device did not ignite.

Police chased them down and found the makings of another Molotov cocktail in the back seat and a gasoline container, The Daily Mail reported.

Mattis, a graduate of Princeton University and the New York University School of Law, is a former associate at corporate Manhattan firm Pryor Cashman.

He was furloughed in April amid the coronavirus crisis, his employer confirmed, according to Law.com.

“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,” Pryor Cashman managing partner Ron Shechtman said in a statement to The Post.           

Mattis is listed as a member of the Brooklyn Community Board 5, a New York City community board that encompasses the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park, New Lots, City Line, Spring Creek, and Starrett City.

Rahman, 31, is also registered as an attorney in New York state. She graduated from Fordham University School of Law.


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Mattis and Rahman were federally charged with causing damage by fire and explosives to a police vehicle. They face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in jail, The Daily Mail reported. Both are expected to be arraigned on June 1. Neither had been arrested before.

“No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at police officers and vehicles is justified,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donaghue.