Molotov cocktail lawyers eyed police headquarters: prosecutors



The New York lawyers accused of torching a police van with a Molotov cocktail last year during George Floyd protests in Brooklyn pleaded guilty to one count Wednesday — as prosecutors revealed they may have been plotting to burn down One Police Plaza that night. 

“Go burn down 1PP,” Colinford Mattis wrote to his accomplice, Urooj Rahman, before their arrest on May 30, 2020, prosecutor Ian Richardson said at the plea hearing Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court. 

“Bring it to their neck,” Mattis added in the text message and shared a Google Maps location of One Police Plaza with Rahman, Richardson said. 

In a series of other messages, Rahman allegedly boasted to Mattis about the destruction she was causing that night as protests raged in Brooklyn and across the city. 

2 people a man a woman were detained outside of 200 Eastern Parkway for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail, which did not detonate, at a vehicle with NYPD inside.
Colinford Mattis was detained outside 200 Eastern Parkway for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a vehicle with NYPD inside on May 30, 2020.

“Set a police car on fire,” she said in one. 

“My rock hit someone. A cop of course,” she added in another and included a smiley face emoji, Richardson said. 

“Molotovs rollin’,” she added in another. “I hope they burn everything down. Need to burn all police stations down and probably the courts too.” 

Both Mattis and Rahman copped to one count of possessing and making a destructive device at the hearing in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday. 

Colinford Mattis
Colinford Mattis
U.S. Attorney’s Office via AP
Urooj Rahman
Urooj Rahman
U.S. Attorney’s Office via AP

They face a maximum of 10 years in prison as part of their plea deal, and prosecutors are seeking a “terrorism enhancement” at their sentencing in an effort to put them behind bars for a decade. 

Both Rahman and Mattis said they “deeply regret” their actions that night after they entered their guilty pleas.

A lawyer named Colinford Mattis (pictured, center) is seen leaving Brooklyn Federal Court today with his lawyer Sabrina Shroff. (pictured, left, smiling)
Colinford Mattis (center) leaving Brooklyn federal court on Oct. 20, 2021, with his lawyer Sabrina Shroff (left).
Gregory P. Mango

They also revealed to Judge Brian Cogan that both of them have been treated for psychological issues in the past year. 

Mattis, a former lawyer for Manhattan firm Pryor Cashman, had been hospitalized for alcohol abuse and treated for ADHD and depression, he said at the hearing.

Rahman, meanwhile, has been treated for depression, anxiety and mood affectation, she said. Her lawyer, Paul Shechtman, added that she’s struggled with those ailments throughout her years in college and law school. 

Urooj Rahman (pictured, purple blouse) is seen leaving Brooklyn federal court.  She and Colinford Mattis, (not pictured) have been charged with throwing a molotov cocktail into an unoccupied NYPD vehicle on May 30, 2020.
Urooj Rahman outside Brooklyn federal court on Oct. 20, 2021. She and Mattis have been charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail into an unoccupied NYPD vehicle on May 30, 2020.
Gregory P. Mango

The pair were arrested on May 30 after Rahman allegedly tossed a Molotov cocktail made out of a beer bottle at an empty NYPD van outside the 88th Precinct stationhouse in Fort Greene. 

Mattis acted as the wheelman during the caper, prosecutors alleged. They had both pleaded not guilty to the charges up until Wednesday’s hearing.  


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