Claiming she was both drunk and traumatized by 9/11, New York lawyer Urooj Rahman asked for a reduced sentence for throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty New York Police Department vehicle.
The New York Post reports that court documents show the 33-year-old attorney blamed drinking vodka without eating and being drunk during the May 2020 incident.
NEW: Attorneys for Urooj Rahman—the lawyer who firebombed an NYPD cruiser during the George Floyd riots in 2020—are asking she be released on "time served," saying she was drunk and dealing with "unprocessed trauma" at the time.https://t.co/G1Gr6F6ajD
— Josh Christenson (@jchristenson_) September 29, 2022
She and a fellow lawyer, 34-year-old Colinford Mattis, were arrested for setting the vehicle afire on May 30, 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest in the New York City neighborhood of Fort Greene.
Rahman pled guilty last year and faces 18 months to two years behind bars but is trying to have her sentence lowered to time served. She was held in a Brooklyn federal jail for 28 days after the incident before being freed on $250,000 bail.
Under a revised agreement reached in June, Rahman and Mattis reportedly pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit arson and making and possessing an unregistered destructive device.
When that agreement was signed, prosecutors said they would seek sentencing of 18-24 months behind bars.
In the court filing, Rahman’s lawyer cites her “early trauma” from being a Muslim in America after 9/11 as part of her decision-making process to throw the explosive device.
Other reasons given the court included “abusive partner relationships” and injustices she had witnessed both in the U.S. and in other countries.
The excuse of being drunk may be difficult to uphold considering an interview that Rahman gave to a local news outlet about 45 minutes before the police van was set ablaze. The lawyer said that the people have a right to be angry and “police are never held accountable.”
Rahman told the interviewer on the street that the “only way they will hear is through violence.” She was reportedly coherent at the time of the interview.
As an attorney, Rahman must realize that claiming to be drunk is usually not an effective defense. And further assertions of suffering trauma simply for being Muslim in the U.S. in the time after 9/11 — now over two decades ago — is another difficult stand to make to avoid jail time.