N.Y. disbars lawyers who threw Molotov cocktail at police car during George Floyd protests

Handout photos of Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman
Suspended Pryor Cashman associate Colinford Mattis and public interest attorney Urooj Rahman are pictured in photos taken by U.S. authorities following their arrests in New York on May 30, 2020. U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York/Handout via Reuters

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Attorney regulators in New York on Tuesday disbarred two lawyers who pleaded guilty to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty city police car during protests over George Floyd's death.

New York's Appellate Division, First Department said Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman qualified for automatic disbarment based on their guilty pleas in June.

Although the court's order was released Tuesday, it retroactively dated the start of their disbarment to June 2, when Mattis and Rahman admitted in Brooklyn federal court to conspiracy to commit arson and possess an explosive device.

Mattis and Rahman told U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan at the time that they understood they would lose their law licenses as a result of their guilty pleas.

Rahman represented tenants in the Bronx as a public interest lawyer. Mattis worked as an associate at law firm Pryor Cashman, but was furloughed in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm suspended him after his arrest.

During May 2020 protests in Brooklyn after a white Minneapolis policeman murdered Floyd, who was Black, Rahman threw a gasoline-filled bottle through the police car's already-broken window and fled in a minivan driven by Mattis, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 18 to 24 months for Rahman and Mattis, who have agreed to each pay $30,137 in restitution to New York City.

Rahman is set to be sentenced on Friday, while Mattis will be sentenced on Dec. 16, according to federal court records.

Read more:

NY lawyers plead guilty in Molotov cocktail case; shorter sentences likely

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.