The Brooklyn lawyer facing seven federal charges in the fire-bombing of an empty NYPD van during protests pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. Reports the NY Post
Colinford Mattis entered the plea through his lawyer during a brief telephone conference. He is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
“He is prepared to enter a plea of not guilty at this time, your honor,” Mattis’ lawyer Sabrina Shroff told Brooklyn federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak.
The 32-year-old New York University School of Law graduate and fellow lawyer Urooj Rahman, 31, were indicted on arson and federal explosives charges for the alleged May 30 attack in Brooklyn.
The pair were allegedly driving around the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene on May 29 and early the next morning as protesters violently clashed with police.
Just before 1 a.m., Rahman allegedly got out of the minivan Mattis was driving and tossed a Molotov cocktail made from a Bud Light bottle into an empty cop car near the stationhouse.
Mattis’ teleconference arraignment — which had nearly 300 people on the line — was interrupted at times by supporters.
“Thanks for what you’re doing, Colin. We’re here for you, bro,” one man said on the line.
“Colin, mate, we’re all here for you. The whole squad’s here,” another man said.
The messages prompted a terse warning from his lawyer.
“I just want to remind you that there are prosecutors on this line,” Shroff said.
Mattis, who was admitted to practice law in New York in 2018 and worked as an associate at corporate Manhattan firm Pryor Cashman before he was suspended without pay over the arrest, has his next court hearing on July 15. He is also listed as a member of Brooklyn Community Board 5 in East New York.
Rahman, who graduated from Fordham University Law School and was admitted to the bar in June 2019, will be arraigned Monday. She is also being held without bail.
Meanwhile, Samantha Shader, a third protester who was also indicted on federal charges for allegedly tossing a Molotov cocktail in a separate incident, will be arraigned Friday