Ivy League Lawyers Head to Trial for Firebombing Cop Car

Two New York City Ivy League lawyers will stand trial in March 2022 for allegedly firebombing a police cruiser and distributing Molotov cocktails during the George Floyd riots last summer.

Defense lawyers for Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman have been in plea negotiations with federal prosecutors since February but have not come to terms, prompting U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan to set a trial schedule for both defendants. Pretrial motions are due on Sept. 17 and jury selection will begin on March 14, 2022.

The accused enjoy widespread support and sympathy from New York’s legal and media elites. Rahman is represented by one of the city’s best defense attorneys, and a former Obama administration official guaranteed her bail in the amount of $250,000. Both have been the subject of favorable profiles in New York magazine and NPR, among other venues.

Cogan has delayed proceedings three times while the parties discussed a prospective plea. Those talks can continue as the case heads to trial. Mattis and Rahman are under house arrest with electronic monitoring, though they’ve each sought relaxed release conditions. Cogan allowed Rahman to attend a bridal shower and a wedding in May, though he denied a bail modification that would have authorized her to move freely about four city boroughs during daylight hours. Mattis obtained permission to celebrate Christmas at a relative’s home.

 
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