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Attorney Sentenced To 1 Year In Prison For Firebombing NYPD Patrol Car During Riots

Brooklyn, NY – One of two now-disbarred attorneys responsible for firebombing a New York Police Department (NYPD) patrol vehicle during an anti-police riot in 2020 was sentenced to prison on Thursday.

Eastern District of New York Judge Brian Cogan sentenced 35-year-old Colinford Mattis to one year and one day in prison on Jan. 26, Yahoo News reported.

Mattis must also pay $30,107 in restitution to the NYPD to replace the torched patrol car, and will serve one year of supervised release after he wraps up his prison term, according to Reuters.

The federal judge noted during the hearing that Mattis, who attended boarding school, went to Princeton, and earned a law degree from New York University, was highly educated and had every reason to use his skills to keep the peace – not to incite violence, Yahoo News reported.

“You’re not one of the oppressed,” Cogan told him during the hearing. “You’re one of the privileged.”

Mattis and his co-defendant, now-former human rights attorney Urooj Rahman, were initially charged with much more severe offenses that carried heavy prison sentences, WABC reported.

Both were federally charged with making or possessing a destructive device, civil disorder, use of a destructive device, arson conspiracy, use of explosives to commit a felony, arson, and use of explosives in connection with the May 30, 2020 attack, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release at the time.

Those charges were ultimately reduced to conspiracy to commit arson and possess an explosive device, according to Reuters.

“I am now 35 and I never thought I would be here today,” Mattis said during the hearing, according to the New York Daily News. “I am deeply sorry and embarrassed about the things that I did and said in May 2020. I did risk the welfare of others and I ruined my life with my conduct that night.”

Mattis, who has been raising three foster children after his mother succumbed to uterine cancer, said he knows he let them down as a result of his actions.

The oldest of the children is just 14, The New York Times reported.

It is now unclear whether Mattis will be allowed to adopt them as planned.

He told the court he has attended a treatment program since the attack and that he is maintaining sobriety, the New York Daily News reported.

“Mr. Mattis’s conduct that night was a shocking break from a meaningful life of non-violence, community work, and caregiving,” Mattis’ attorney, Sabrina Shroff, told Cogan in a letter late last year.

“That break was spurred not only by the graphic and highly publicized murder of George Floyd, and the once-in-a-generation protests that followed during a global pandemic, but also by Mr. Mattis’ then-untreated alcoholism and depression,” Shroff added, according to the New York Daily News.

The attorney said Mattis began sobbing uncontrollably after he watched footage of Floyd’s arrest just hours before the firebombing.

“Colin coped with this confluence of stress and trauma the only way he knew how: by drinking,” she wrote.

He then exchanged angry texts with his friends, which culminated with the firebombing of the patrol car.

Shroff said Mattis has since reached out the NYPD to try to make amends, but that the department declined to participate in a sit-down with him, the New York Daily News reported.

“All that I can do now is apologize and do whatever I can to make it better,” Mattis told the judge. “I reached out to NYPD Restorative Justice. It was not to be and I understand them not wanting to engage in that.”

The sentence Cogan handed down on Thursday was substantially less than the 18-to-24-month prison term recommended by prosecutors, WABC reported.

“That’s the best I can do for you,” the federal judge told him, according to the New York Daily News. “I’d like to do better.”

Mattis will begin serving his sentence in March, WABC reported.

His attorney declined to comment on the sentencing, according to the news outlet.

Rahman was sentenced to a 15-month prison term in November of 2022.

She is scheduled to begin serving her sentence in Connecticut on Jan. 31, according to The New York Times.

Both attorneys were disbarred by a New York appeals court in November of last year, Reuters reported.

According to court records, Mattis purchased the gasoline used in the Molotov cocktail Rahman hurled at the NYPD patrol car that was parked outside the NYPD 88th Precinct station in the early-morning hours of May 30, 2020, according to the New York Daily News.

Mattis also drove the getaway vehicle.

Rahman, who was born in Pakistan, was formerly an intern at a radical anti-Israel organization funded by George Soros.

The Fordham University law school graduate took part in a summer internship at Mada Al-Carmel’s Arab Center for Applied Social Research in 2014, Breitbart News reported.

The radical, Israel-based center is heavily financed by Soros via his Open Society Foundations, according to Breitbart News.

As part of her internship, Rahman spent time working with the Palestine Work organization, where she attended “presentations and workshops led by attorneys and human rights advocates, as well as field visits to human rights flashpoints, such as East Jerusalem, Hebron, the Jordan Valley,” Breitbart News reported.

Rahman subsequently penned an article titled, “Witnessing occupation, apartheid and resistance in Palestine/Israel,” in which she discussed her participation in a 40,000-person anti-Israel demonstration against Israeli troops.

“[Israel Defense Force] soldiers provoke violence using tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and, often, live ammunition at civilians exercising their free speech,” she wrote, according to Breitbart News.

“What started out as a peaceful demonstration of resistance to the occupation…turned into an all-out clash,” Rahman continued. “Young Palestinians were forced to resort to throwing rocks, their only form of self-defense, as IDF soldiers fired tear gas and skin-penetrating bullets into a peaceful crowd.”

A year after her internship, Rahman likened her experience with the Israeli troops to the “militarized over-policing” in America, Breitbart News reported.

She accused police of targeting minority communities, and alleged that “institutionalized racism” is paving the way for gentrification.

Rahman was bailed out of jail after her arrest by former U.S. intelligence official Salmah Rizvi, who worked for both the Department of Defense and the State Department under former President Barack Obama, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Rizvi also completed a fellowship through an organization that is financially supported by Soros’ Open Society Foundations, according to Breitbart News.

According to her biography at the Islamic Scholarship Fund, Rizvi’s “high-value work would often inform the President’s Daily Briefs.”

The scholarship fund also awarded Rizvi a law school scholarship that had been sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) severed its ties with CAIR back in 2009, after evidence showed the group was linked to Hamas support networks, according to FOX News.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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