The day before he went out to protest, Colinford Mattis, 32, an Ivy-educated corporate lawyer in Brooklyn, chatted for over an hour on the phone with a close high school friend. They discussed George Floyd’s death as just “another example of an unarmed black person being killed, ” the friend said, but they talked about grocery shopping and YouTube videos as well.
The next afternoon, Urooj Rahman, 31, who is also a lawyer and Mattis’ close friend, attended a Zoom talk about building “solidarity movements” between people of color. Rahman had recently finished fasting for Ramadan and was caring for her mother at home, also in Brooklyn.
What happened next came as a surprise to many who know the two young lawyers.
The pair took to the streets May 29 with thousands of New Yorkers who were voicing their outrage over Floyd’s death. But after midnight, police officers spotted them in a tan minivan driving through the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. At one point, Rahman climbed out, walked toward an empty police patrol car and threw a Molotov cocktail through its broken window, prosecutors said. Their arrests shortly after were a startling turn for the two, who were otherwise role models in their communities. Both children of immigrants, they rose from working-class Brooklyn neighborhoods to win a long list of awards and campus leadership positions. Mattis graduated from Princeton University and New York University Law School, while Rahman went to Fordham University for college and law school.
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RE: Minneapolis council majority backs disbanding police force
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