Revolutionary lawyers

An analysis of the bloodiest revolutions, beginning with the French, would probably confirm that disgruntled lawyers play a significant role in most of them. If we have a revolution in America, I expect the role of disgruntled lawyers to be outsized. After all, we have so many of them. Plus, many of our law schools serve up a heady dose of radical indoctrination.

In this connection, the New York Daily News reports:

Two Brooklyn lawyers, including an Ivy League graduate corporate attorney, are facing federal charges over accusations they tossed a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD vehicle early Saturday morning during a protest over the police killing of George Floyd.

Colinford Mattis, 32, a corporate lawyer and member of Community Board 5 in East New York, was charged along with fellow attorney Urooj Rahman with the attempted attack on an empty police cruiser parked outside the 88th Precinct station house in Fort Greene.

Rahman allegedly tossed the bottle, which was filled with gasoline. She then jumped into a van Mattis was driving and they sped off. The bottle did not ignite. Ah, lawyers.

The pair was detected by a surveillance camera, and police chased down their car. Officers reportedly found the makings of another Molotov cocktail in the back seat, along with a gasoline container.

Mattis and Rahman are also accused of trying to pass out the bombs to protesters.

Mattis, with the Waspish-sounding first name, is a graduate of Princeton and NYU law school. He was an associate with the firm of Pryor Cashman, before being let go in April. He remained active in Community Board 5, a group headed by Viola Plummer, a well known New York activist.

Rahman apparently graduated from Fordham law school. She too reportedly had lost her job.

The managing partner of Mattis’s former employer said:

As we confront critical issues around historic and ongoing racism and inequity in our society, I am saddened to see this young man allegedly involved in the worst kind of reaction to our shared outrage.

The “super” of Rahman’s building had a better take:

She’s in trouble. That’s bad. I’m sorry to hear that. But if you want to play, you’re gonna pay.

I hope Mattis and Rahman will pay for their crime by serving long prison sentences (with access, of course, to “evidence based rehabilitation programs”). But I’ll be surprised if they do.

The leniency the two can expect is foreshadowed by the fact that both have been released on bond, even as rioting persists in New York City.

Lawyers for the pair of criminals reportedly cited their “legal backgrounds and education at prestigious universities” as evidence that neither will be a threat to the community if released. But these biographical facts don’t diminish the threat posed by the two. If anything, they enhance it.