Two lawyers of color were arrested following the protests of George Floyd’s death and are facing up to 45 years in prison.
What We Know:
- HuffPost reported that Colinford King Mattis and Urooj Rahman were arrested on May 30 in Brooklyn during the height of the protests that took place following Floyd’s death while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Mattis, 32, and Rahman, 31, were charged with attempting to burn a damaged New York City Police Department vehicle that was not occupied.
- The two lawyers are now faced with seven federal charges of use of explosives and arson that carry a minimum sentence of 45 years. The penalty is so severe because police were allegedly the target.
- Allies claim that Mattis, who is a Princeton and NYU educated corporate lawyer and Rahman, a Muslim woman educated at Fordham Law School who works for Bronx Legal Services, are being treated unfairly.
- Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold declared during a virtual arraignment that both could be released with electronic monitoring. Federal officials appealed that judgment but District Judge Margo K. Brodie ordered them to be released on a $250,000 bond and home confinement. However, the government filed another notice.
- A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revoked Mattis’ and Rahman’s bond on June 5. They were deemed to be a danger to society and returned to the Metropolitan Detention Center.
- They are being held without bail all while some of the police officers who were involved in the killings of Floyd and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta have been released.
- The Fordham Law School signatories wrote in their open letter that some of the judges in the case were biased. Judge Michael H. Park and Judge William J. Nardini were appointed by President Donald Trump and the signees claim they are attempting to distract from police violence.
Mattis and Rahman are set to appear before another panel of judges Tuesday. None of them were appointed by President Trump.