Two Lawyers Face Life Sentences On Protest Related Arson Charges

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[Colinford King Mattis\Urooj Rahma]
The two lawyers have now been hit with seven federal charges of use of explosives and arson that carry a minimum sentence of 45 years. The penalty is so severe because police were allegedly the target.
Photo: Twitter

Lawyers Colinford King Mattis and Urooj Rahma have been denied bond, and face 45 years imprisonment, minimum, allegedly, for firebombing empty police cars. Meanwhile, murderers of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd and others remain free.

Two lawyers of color who were arrested in May following the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death are facing a potential of 45 years in prison--or life.

HuffPost reported that Colinford King Mattis and Urooj Rahma were arrested on May 30 in Brooklyn during the height of the protests that took place following Floyd’s death while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Mattis, 32, and Rahma, 31, were charged with attempting to burn a damaged New York City Police Department vehicle that was not occupied.

The two lawyers have now been hit with seven federal charges of use of explosives and arson that carry a minimum sentence of 45 years. The penalty is so severe because police were allegedly the target.

Allies claim that Mattis, who is a Princeton and NYU educated corporate lawyer and Rahman, a Muslim woman educated at Fordham Law School who works for Bronx Legal Services, are being treated unfairly.

In an unusual set of circumstances, Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold declared during a virtual arraignment that both could be released with electronic monitoring. Federal officials appealed that judgment but District Judge Margo K. Brodie ordered them to be released on a $250,000 bond and home confinement. However, the government filed another notice.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revoked Mattis’ and Rahman’s bond on June 5. They were deemed to be a danger to society and returned to the Metropolitan Detention Center.

They are being held without bail as some of the police officers who were involved in the killings of Floyd and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta have been released.

The disparity has prompted law students and faculty from both their alma maters to write in support of the jailed lawyers. The ensuing letter had more than 1,500 signatures.

“We believe that the Department of Justice’s prosecution and efforts to incarcerate Urooj and Colin are a gross overreach of federal law enforcement power, and an attempt to stifle and delegitimize dissent against police brutality,” NYU wrote.

For the rest of this story from the Grio, log on to: https://thegrio.com/2020/06/22/lawyers-of-color-facing-45-year-arson/?fb...

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