Disbarred lawyer sobs as she learns her fate for firebombing NYPD car, reactions pour in

Former New York City attorney and Black Lives Matter activist Urooj Rahman sobbed openly in court as she was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday for firebombing an empty NYPD vehicle with her cohort, former attorney Colinford Mattis, during the George Floyd protests.

The ruling set social media on fire with reaction to the sentence roiling Twitter.

Rahman, 34, begged the judge to spare her prison time and give her a “second chance” to make up for what she called a momentary lapse of judgment, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’m so incredibly sorry for my reckless and wrong actions,” the Pakistani-born attorney wept in federal court. “I don’t think there’s enough words to express my sorrow and regret. … I completely lost my way in the emotion of the night.”

“I hope they burn everything down,” Rahman told Mattis in a message just hours before protests formed that night, according to the New York Post. “Need to burn all the police stations down… probably all the courts too.”

Rahman and Mattis were arrested during the violent Geoge Floyd protests on May 30, 2020.

US District Judge Brian Cogan praised her for choosing a career in public interest law to fight against social injustices just before he threw the book at her.

“You’re a remarkable person who did a terrible thing on one night,” Cogan noted. “It displays an amazing amount of arrogance. … It’s just a very arrogant way to think.”

He called the firebombing an “attack on the rule of law” carried out by someone who took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

Prosecutors had originally recommended 18 to 24 months as part of a plea deal with Rahman.

During the Black Lives Matter protest, surveillance cameras caught Rahman throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty, parked police vehicle. It set fire to the police car’s console. No one was injured in the attack but the vehicle was badly damaged.

Shortly after the violent act, officers arrested both attorneys. They found a lighter, a Bud Light beer bottle filled with toilet paper, and a gasoline tank in the back of a minivan that was driven by Mattis. Prosecutors alleged they had planned to distribute and throw other Molotov cocktails.

Many attorneys condemned the two for their conduct that night. But some felt the charges were overly severe and argued that the case was not handled properly and was treated as if it were an act of domestic terrorism.

When the US attorney in Brooklyn requested the attorneys be detained without bail, 56 former federal prosecutors sent a legal brief to the court criticizing the government´s handling of the case.

Both Rahman and Mattis have been disbarred over their actions. Mattis is set to be sentenced in December.

More reactions to the sentencing poured in on social media:


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