N.Y. lawyer who threw Molotov cocktail during George Floyd protest sentenced to 15 months

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

(Reuters) - A Brooklyn federal judge on Friday sentenced former lawyer Urooj Rahman to 15 months in prison for throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty city police car during the May 2020 protests over George Floyd's death, the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office said.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan also ordered Rahman, a former public interest lawyer who represented Bronx tenants, to pay $30,137 in restitution to New York City.

Brooklyn prosecutors declined to comment. Attorneys for Rahman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors had recommended an 18 to 24-month sentence for Rahman, arguing that targeting a police car with "homemade firebombs is extremely dangerous criminal conduct that warrants a serious sentence." Rahman requested no prison time, or a time-served sentence.

Rahman and Colinford Mattis, another New York attorney, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit arson and possess an explosive device. Prosecutors said Rahman threw a gasoline-filled bottle through the police car's already-broken window and fled in a minivan driven by Mattis.

New York's Appellate Division, First Department disbarred both Rahman and Mattis earlier this week. 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.

Mattis is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 16.

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Reporting by David Thomas

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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.