On Monday, two lawyers, namely, Urooj Rahman (31) and Colinford Mattis (32), who were accused of throwing Molotov Cocktail into a police vehicle in New York City during the riots that followed after the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd, were released on bail by a United States District Court in Brooklyn.
As per reports, Judge Steven Gold approved their bail order on a bond of $250,000. During the court hearing, their bail plea was opposed vehemently by the Federal counsels. The accused would be confined to their homes and the family members would be responsible, in case the accused jump bail. An appeal made by the Federal prosecutors, seeking a stay on the bail order in a separate hearing was also dismissed.
Federal prosecutor objects to releasing ‘bomb thrower’
According to reports, the Federal Prosecutor stated that Mattis and Rahman drove around in their car, amidst the riots, to burn police vehicles using Molotov cocktails. He reiterated that it was not the right time to set a ‘bomb thrower’ free. The prosecutor said that even though the duo were lawyers, their actions were contrary to the laws of the land. He added that Rahman threw her career away when she decided to throw the Molotov cocktail into an unmanned police car. “That is not the action of a rational person,” the prosecutor observed.
The background of the accused
The 32-year-old Colinford Mattis is a graduate of Princeton University and the New York School of Law. He has been on a leave from his corporate Manhattan firm named Pryor Cashman since April this year. He also served as a board member of the community in East New York. Urooj Rahman is reportedly a ‘human rights activist’ and a graduate of Fordham Law School. According to a Facebook post on April 30, she attended a discussion titled ‘Love of the Earth.’
The image of Rahman throwing the gasoline bottle out of a car window had gone viral on social media.
According to the police, surveillance video captured the bomb attack near the 88th Precinct station in Fort Greene neighbourhood of New York City. The video showed a 31-year-old Urooj Rahman throwing a lit Bud light beer bottle filled with gasoline, out of a country minivan driven by Mattis, into the broken window of a police car. The duo was stopped and arrested by another patrol car a few blocks away after they were caught committing the said crime. The cops found materials to make more Molotov cocktails inside the car. The police also discovered gasoline, lighter, and bottles filled with toilet paper.
The killing of George Floyd
On May 25, a 46-year-old African-American man, George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the former’s neck for 7 long minutes until his body became unresponsive. A shopkeeper had called the cops on Floyd for allegedly trying to pass a ‘potential counterfeit bill’. Despite the victim complaining about not being able to breathe, coupled with verbal protest from onlookers, the said officer was unmoved. On being taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, Floyd was pronounced dead.
Riots in the United States
After Floyd’s death, violent protests have broken out in several US cities. Frenzied mobs had set the 3rd precinct offices of the police in Minneapolis on fire.
On Friday night, US President Donald Trump was reportedly escorted to a special bunker after the violent protests had spread to outside of the White House in Washington, DC. Protestors had gathered outside the Presidential Estate on Friday night and clashes took place between the rioters and the President’s Secret Service. On Saturday, rioters had also desecrated the 142-year old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan in New York, fin the aftermath of the George Floyd Case. Shops have been looted, vehicles have been burned and businesses have been attacked in the violent frenzy rapidly gripping the entire nation.