Two Lawyer BLM Protesters Who Torched Police Vehicle Face Up to Life in Prison
Charges include arson, conspiracy, and the commission of a ‘crime of violence'
Two Black Lives Matter protesters, who are also lawyers, face life in prison for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into a police car and setting it on fire.
Urooj Rahman, 31, or Colinford Mattis, 32, face “seven federal charges, including arson, conspiracy, and the commission of a ‘crime of violence’ employing what the law defines as a ‘destructive device.'”
National Review contributor Jonathan S. Tobin explained last month that the charge concerning a “destructive device” means "that if they are convicted, they will have to automatically serve a sentence that is three times longer than if they had used a gun: a mandatory minimum term of 30 years."
Along with the other charges, the pair faces a ‘non-negotiable’ sentences of 45 years or even life in prison.
But the media has been sympathetic to Rahman and Mattis, as The Daily Beast attempted to frame the charges as a crackdown from the Trump administration on “Black Lives Matter protesters."
The outlet took the charges out of context and purposely blurred the lines between "peaceful protesters" and "rioters," causing destruction.
CNN also tried to spin a narrative that the "promising" lawyers were just accidentally caught up in the BLM riots.
The outlet reported:
The promising young lawyers with enviable educational pedigrees and significant familial responsibilities -- he is raising three foster children; she is the primary caretaker for her elderly mother -- suddenly find themselves detainees indicted on seven federal felony charges for which they face life in prison.
Their predicament has puzzled not only family and friends, but also prosecutors themselves.
Tobin later outlined that the lawyers “were caught on camera throwing a Molotov cocktail into an empty, already-vandalized NYPD patrol car in Brooklyn” in May.
As NPR reported earlier this year:
In a recent memo to U.S. Attorneys and department heads, Attorney General William Barr made clear how he expected the department to respond — in the same way, it did to organized crime or terrorism "by disrupting their violent activities and ultimately dismantling their capability to threaten the rule of law."
Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis don't claim to be members of any group; their friends say they aren't people who espouse radical beliefs, but against this backdrop, they have been treated as if they are.
Rahman and Mattis were chased down by police before officers found a homemade incendiary device made out of a Bud Light bottle and more devices in the back seat.
Rahman also offered Molotov cocktails to other protesters, prosecutors later said.
To cement their guilt even further, a picture was taken of Rahman leaning out of the window of the car, holding an unlit Molotov cocktail.
Rahman also gave a video interview about Floyd's death just before the incident.
“This sh** won’t ever stop unless we f***ing take it all down. We’re all in so much pain from how f***ed up this country is toward black lives,” Rahman said.
“This has got to stop, and the only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use. ‘You got to use the master’s tools.’ That’s what my friend always says.”