Feds Want Caribbean American Princeton Grad Detained Again Over Firebombing Of NYPD Vehicle

colingford-king-mattis
Accused attorney Colinford King Mattis.
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 4, 2020: Federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York now want an emergency order to detain Caribbean American attorney Colinford King Mattis as well as Attorney Urooj Rahman.

The two have been charged with using and attempting to use “Molotov Cocktails” to damage and destroy New York City Police Department (NYPD) vehicles on Saturday, May 30, 2020.

Mattis, the son of Jamaican immigrants according to the Gothamist, along with Rahman, a Pakistani immigrant, were each released Monday night on $250,000 bond, with home confinement and electronic monitoring.

But federal prosecutors were back in court Tuesday seeking an emergency order from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to detain them again.

They allege Mattis and Rahman “were caught on camera firebombing an NYPD vehicle” and that each defendant is an attorney who attended prestigious universities and law schools and was well aware of the severity of their conduct. They said in the filing that home detention with electronic monitoring is “insufficient to protect the community and to guard against the risk of flight,” while citing the ongoing environment of protests in New York City.

As detailed in the complaint charging Mattis and Rahman, an NYPD surveillance camera recorded Rahman tossing a Molotov Cocktail at an unoccupied NYPD vehicle parked near the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York and then fleeing in a tan minivan.  Officers pursued the minivan and arrested Rahman and Mattis, who was the vehicle’s driver.  The NYPD recovered several precursor items used to build Molotov Cocktails, including a lighter, a bottle filled with toilet paper and a liquid suspected to be gasoline in the vicinity of the passenger seat and a gasoline tank in the rear of the vehicle.

 If convicted, each defendant faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of 5 years and up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Mattis, is a native of East New York Brooklyn whose parents were Jamaican immigrants. Both are now deceased. He attended a private boarding school through Prep for Prep, which helps low-income students who excel in school. Mattis went on to attend Princeton University as an undergraduate and NYU School of Law.

He was also an anti-poverty intern for the mayor of San Francisco, a middle school math and science teacher with Teach for America, an intellectual property intern at Microsoft, a legislative fellow for Colorado State Senator Mike Johnson and the president of the Princeton University Black Student Union.

He joined the corporate practice group of the law firm Pryor Cashman in 2018 and was furloughed in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, June 1, 2020, he was suspended without pay pending the resolution of the criminal proceeding.

“As we confront critical issues around historic and ongoing racism and inequity in our society, I am saddened to see this young man allegedly involved in the worst kind of reaction to our shared outrage over what had occurred,” said managing partner Ronald H. Shechtman.

The defendants charged in each of the complaints will make their initial appearances via teleconference on Monday, June 1, 2020, before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold. 

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