The New York City lawyers accused of hurling a Molotov cocktail into a NYPD van are back in custody after a decision to release them on bail was reversed in court.
On Friday, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York announced that lawyers Urooj Rahman, 31, and Clinford Mattis, 32, were back in federal custody after the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the bail decision by the District Court.
Meanwhile, a video has emerged that reveals Rahman blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio for not restraining officers for their own safety less than one hour before the alleged incident.
Last week, Rahman and Mattis were arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at the police cruiser during volatile clashes over the death of George Floyd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
They were chased by police and charged with attempting to damage or destroy law-enforcement vehicle by fire or explosives, which carries a minimum of five years in jail and maximum of 20 years.
In a video taken on May 30, Urooj Rahman (pictured) said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is to blame for not pulling back NYPD officers during volatile protests in Brooklyn
In a new video from May 30, Rahman claimed de Blasio should have pulled back the city's law enforcement like Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis did.
'I think the mayor should have pulled his police officers back in the way the mayor in Minneapolis did, she said, while standing near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
'I think the mayor should have done that, because if he really cared about his police officers, he should have realized that it’s not worth them getting hurt.'
On that night of protests, tensions flared between the NYPD and protesters as more than 200 people were taken into custody.
Protesters launched bottles at officers and one demonstrator was charged with murder for allegedly tossing a homemade firebomb at a vehicle occupied by several officers.
Cell phone footage of a 20-year-old woman having a violent seizure after being pushed to the ground by a NYPD officer further evoked civil unrest.
Lawyers, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, who were charged for allegedly tossing a Molotov cocktail into a NYPD vehicle early Saturday morning were also trying to pass out firebombs to other George Floyd demonstrators, federal authorities said
Rahman (pictured): 'I think the mayor should have done that, because if he really cared about his police officers, he should have realized that it’s not worth them getting hurt'
A witness told authorities that Rahman (pictured during the incident) 'tried to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence'
The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York announced Rahman and Mattis were back in federal custody
About 40 minutes before Rahman's interview, surveillance cameras allegedly filmed her throwing the Molotov cocktail into a police cruiser near the 88th precinct.
One week after the incident, de Blasio revealed that the NYPD Chief will announce suspensions and disciplinary actions against officers who used rough tactics to ensure curfew.
According to Rahman, violence against law enforcement is 'understandable' because 'people are angry because the police are never held accountable.'
'This has got to stop. And the only way they hear, the only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use,' she said.
'Through the means that they use. You got to use the master's tools. '
Rahman (pictured): ''This s*** won’t ever stop unless we f***** take it all down. And that’s why the anger is being expressed tonight in this way'
In the video, Rahman is seen wearing the same face covering, bracelet and shirt that was pictured in a photo shared by Brooklyn federal prosecutors.
'This s*** won’t ever stop unless we f***** take it all down. And that’s why the anger is being expressed tonight in this way,' said Rahman. 'I think this protest is a long time coming.'
Rahman claims that protesters that night were 'not targeting random people, they’re targeting precinct.'
'It’s a way to show their pain, their anger.'
Mattis and Rahman were initially released on bail Monday, despite objections from prosecutors.
Clinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman (left to right) were arrested in Brooklyn last week for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a NYPD van during demonstrations
It was revealed on Monday that Mattis and Rahman also attempted to pass out the incendiary devices to others who were at the protest.
According to the New York Post, a bystander told authorities that Rahman 'tried to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence'.
The bystander even snapped a photo of the pair in the car while they were allegedly trying to pass out the devices.
Police say Rahman, a registered attorney in New York, tossed a bottle filled with gasoline through a broken window into the cruiser just before 1am but the Molotov cocktail failed to ignite.
Urooj Rahman stands by the side of the sidewalk after being arrested for throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van in Brooklyn
Colinford Mattis stands handcuffed on the street after being arrested for tossing a Molotov cocktail during unrest on Friday night
Rahman then jumped into a van that Mattis was driving and together they sped away from the scene according to the New York Daily News.
'No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at police officers and vehicles is justified,' Brooklyn US Attorney Richard Donaghue said.
Mattis lives in East New York and graduated from Princeton University and New York University law school in 2016, according to his Linkedin page.
He’s an associate with Pryor Cashman, a corporate law firm in Times Square where he specializes in start-ups, and is a member of Community Board 5 in East New York.
By Sunday evening his profile on the law firm's website was deleted.
The smoldering remains of a scorched police car pictured above vandalized during riots in Fort Greene in Brooklyn on Friday
'This is shocking news to me. The allegation does surprise me because that doesn’t sound like him,' Andre Mitchell, president of Community Board 5, said to the Daily News.
Rahman’s social media shows she graduated from Fordham University in New York.
The super of Rahman’s building in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn described her as 'an angel' who recently lost her legal job.
'I can’t believe it. I’m stunned. This kid? She’s an angel,' George Raleigh said.
On Friday, de Blasio vowed that New Yorkers 'will see a change in this city' over the role of NYPD officers.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that suspensions and disciplinary actions will be announced by the NYPD, after officers were accused of using excessive force
'You will see change in this city. You will see change in the NYPD. We simply have not gone far enough. The status quo is still broken, it must change,' the mayor said at a press conference on Friday.
'This will be the work for the next year and a half of this administration: To make more change, to make it urgently, to make it powerfully, to make it clear,' he continued.
'And that work will proceed immediately. And you will see those results and you will judge for yourself, as all New Yorkers do.'
The mayor continued to try to walk a tightrope between appeasing protesters and avoiding alienating the NYPD, which he has had a sometimes difficult relationship with in the past.
De Blasio said there are adjustments that continue to need to be made to the NYPD response to peaceful protests, but praised the department's 'overall restraint levels.'
A protester is arrested on Fifth Avenue by NYPD officers during a march Thursday in the Manhattan borough of New York. Police have been detaining and arresting curfew violators
Police officers arrest people for breaking the curfew as they continued to protest demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice over the death of George Floyd on Thursday
The mayor there have been occasional instances of police behavior that needs to be reviewed by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
'Each night we see – certainly several – situations that raise real questions. Individual instances where our officers have taken action that raises a valid concern,' he said.
'In each and every case, there must be a full investigation, and where discipline is warranted, it needs to be speedy,' the mayor said.
'The vast, vast majority of officers do their job, do it right. But when someone does something wrong, as in all of our society, there must be consequences. Commissioner Shea made it clear yesterday, disciplinary action is about to be announced, some will include suspensions of officers. There's a lot going on.'
Regarding the curfew, he said 'the broad goals' of ending property destruction and violence had been achieved, so far.
'The last three nights, I think, have shown obviously a very marked improvement, compared to those very two troubling nights before that came out of nowhere and were absolutely unacceptable,' de Blasio said.
The curfew will end Monday morning at 5am, the same day that New York City is set to enter Phase 1 reopening from pandemic lockdown.