Activist New York lawyers Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman may now face just two years in prison after destroying a NYPD police car with Molotov cocktails in 2020.
According to Fox News, while the actual sentence has yet to be handed down, in a letter filed Tuesday by prosecutors for the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, the prosecutors agreed to recommend an 18- to 24-month sentence following the duo agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit arson.
A judge could still issue the maximum sentence of five years behind bars to the two lawyers.
The incident in question occurred on June 2, 2020, amidst the massive wave protests raging across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 of that same year.
NYPD surveillance cameras allegedly recorded then 31-year-old Rahman throwing a Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied NYPD vehicle which was parked near the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York. She was seen fleeing in a tan minivan driven by Mattis, then 32.
Photo evidence was later presented of both of them handing out Molotov cocktails to people in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.
On the morning of June 4 2020, the pair posted bail and were released by a judge, over the objections of the prosecution.
On Oct 20 2021, the pair pleaded guilty to the charges against them, and, at the time, were both potentially facing sentences as long as life in prison for their crimes.
The original indictment included a 40-year mandatory minimum count, with Mattis and Rahman potentially facing life in prison.
The newly recommended sentence is down from the government’s previous plan to seek a 10-year sentence with terrorism enhancement, which was discussed in an October 2021 Brooklyn federal court hearing, according to Fox News.
Patrick J. Lynch, president of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association, expressed his discontent with the prosecution's sentencing recommendation:
"The judge must reject this request. There is absolutely no justification for lowballing the sentence for an anti-police terrorist attack," he said, continuing:
"It's bad enough that these dangerous criminals have been allowed to sit at home for the past two years. Handing them a below-guidelines sentence would give a green light to other anti-police radicals who seek to advance their cause through violence. The judge must reject this request."
The prosecution’s Tuesday letter requests that U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan to convert a May 18 hearing scheduled for debate over the terrorism enhancement to a change of plea hearing, according to the Daily Mail.