Brooklyn, NY – A former intelligence official who worked for the Obama administration posted bail for an attorney accused of firebombing a New York Police Department (NYPD) patrol vehicle, calling the woman her “best friend.”
Salmah Rizvi, who is now an attorney at Ropes & Gray in D.C., previously worked for both the Department of Defense and the State Department under former President Barack Obama, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The former high-level government official recently went to court on behalf of her “best friend,” 31-year-old Urooj Rahman, after Rahman and Princeton-educated Pryor Cashman LLP associate Colinford King Mattis, 32, were arrested for tossing a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD patrol car.
“Urooj Rahman is my best friend and I am an associate at the law firm Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C.,” Rizvi told the judge, according to FOX News. “I earn $255,000 a year.”
She agreed to be held liable for Rahman’s $250,000 bail in the event the suspect fails to abide by the court’s order in regards to her home confinement, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Prosecutors strongly objected to Rahman’s release, calling her “criminal conduct extraordinarily serious,” the New York Post reported.
“Amid the largely peaceful demonstrations taking place on Friday night…Rahman committed an act of potentially deadly violence,” prosecutors wrote. “The actions endangered NYPD officers, as well as other individuals on the street in close proximity to the attack.”
U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie granted Rahman’s release despite prosecutors’ objections, but noted that the evidence against her is very strong.
The May 30 attack occurred outside the NYPD’s 88th Precinct station house just before 1 a.m., and was captured by security cameras, the New York Daily News reported.
The video showed Mattis as he drove up near the police station in a tan-colored 2015 Chrysler Town and Country, according to The New York Times.
Rahman jumped out of the passenger side of the van and made her way over to the parked patrol vehicle, then lit the fuse hanging out of a Bud Light beer bottle and tossed it into the cruiser through a window that had been busted out before their arrival.
The console of the patrol car ignited as the duo sped off in the minivan.
Officers witnessed the incident and immediately chased after the fleeing suspects.
They were pulled over and arrested several blocks away from the station, The New York Times reported.
Investigators found gasoline, toilet paper and a lighter in plain view inside the van.
Rahman has also been accused of handing out incendiary devices to her fellow rioters, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The duo has been federally charged with causing damage to a police vehicle by fire and explosives, according to The New York Times.
Brodie said she decided to grant Rahman’s bail due to the “willingness of family and friends to sign on as suretors,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Rahman must wear a GPS device, is required to remain inside her home, and must forfeit all travel documents while her case is pending.
She faces up to 20 years in prison if she is convicted, FOX News reported.
Prosecutors said they plan to appeal Rahman and Mattis’ releases.
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), which has been described as a radical, anti-Israel group tied to funding various global terror networks, 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.
Rizvi was also awarded a scholarship established by George Soros’ late brother, Paul Soros, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The rioting comes in the wake of the May 25 in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest. His charges have since been upgraded to second-degree murder.
On June 3, former Minneapolis Police Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd’s arrest.
The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.
Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.
According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The preliminary autopsy findings indicated Floyd had died from a combination of his underlying medical problems and possible substances.
“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” according to the complaint.
But veteran forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told reporters on Monday at the Floyd family press conference that his independent autopsy determined that the man had died of asphyxiation much in the same way Eric Garner died from a choke hold in New York in 2014, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The Eric Garner autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him.
But the final autopsy findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office hours later confirmed that Floyd had died from heart failure.
“Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” Floyd’s autopsy said. “Manner of death: Homicide.”
“How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the report continued. “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
The toxicology results showing fentanyl and methamphetamine directly contradicted assertions by the forensic pathologist that Floyd’s family’s attorneys hired to dispute the initial medical examiner’s report.
And a postmortem nasal swab showed that Floyd tested positive SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, according to KSTP. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in April 3.
Protests erupted in the Twin Cities after Floyd’s death, leaving both Minneapolis and the state’s capital of St. Paul burned, looted, and destroyed.
Rioters overran and torched the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct where the officers accused of Floyd’s homicide were assigned.
Protests spread across the United States, and became very violent in major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Oakland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.