Judge compares ‘bomb throwing’ lawyers to Weather Underground radicals
A federal appeals court judge on Tuesday compared the two lawyers accused of tossing a Molotov cocktail into an empty cop car to Weather Underground radicals who accidentally blew up a Greenwich Village townhouse in 1970.
Judge Gerard Lynch made the comparison as attorneys for accused bomb-throwers Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman argued for their clients to be released on bail to a three-judge panel from the Second Circuit Court.
In his comment, Judge Lynch said there is precedent for widespread protests in United States over racial inequality — but only few people in the past have used homemade explosives to get their message across.
“A very tiny minority … people who like these defendants had high level of education, had every reason to think twice, who wound up blowing up a townhouse in Greenwich Village,” Judge Lynch said.
“When people respond at this level, it is indeed aberrant,” Lynch said, adding that it’s more extreme than other protesters who commit small acts of vandalism and break minor laws.
Rahman’s attorney, Paul Shechtman, argued the comparison was unfair in part because the Weather Underground members who blew up the townhouse were part of a criminal organization.
Mattis and Rahman, meanwhile, are both lawyers and activists who got caught up in the heat of the moment at a protest and targeted an empty cop car, Shechtman argued, calling the situation “radically” different from the 1970s.
Rahman allegedly tossed the explosive device into an empty cop car while she and Mattis were driving around Brooklyn on May 29 and early the next morning during a tense confrontation between police and demonstrators near the 88th Precinct station house in Fort Greene.
Prosecutors said in a detention memo that they were trying to pass out the bombs to protesters at the demonstration.
In the 1970 blast, three members of the radical Weather Underground were killed when a homemade explosive device they had built leveled a four-story townhouse on 11th Street near Washington Square Park.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article