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After Molotov Cocktails At NYPD Rahman Support Letter $79000 Raised Before June 23 2CIR

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Soundcloud
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - FreePress?

FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, June 18 –  Amid protests about the murder of George Floyd, late on May 30 the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York got a complaint signed by  Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara about a Molotov cocktail attack on an NYPD vehicle.

Inner City Press, which covered the protests in Foley Square and at One Police Plaza on May 29 (video here and edited here), and aftermath on Fifth Avenue on May 30, publishes the complaint (later-written song on Soundcloud).

 On June 5 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard the government's appeal of the release of Mattis and Rahman. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here, and see below.

 Now on June 18, a letter is being circulated supporting Rahman, with 230 signatures, and a fundraiser with $79,000: "An Open Letter from the Fordham Law Community concerning Urooj Rahman ‘15 and Colin Mattis: As current Fordham Law students, student organizations, faculty, staff and alumni, we write to express our deep dismay with the federal government’s aggressive charging and pursuit of the pre-trial detention of Urooj Rahman, a 2015 Fordham Law graduate, and Colinford (“Colin”) Mattis. Urooj and Colin are attorneys of color and respected community members who were arrested on May 30, 2020 while protesting the murder of George Floyd and systemic anti-Black police brutality. On that day, Urooj and Colin took part in an unprecedented national and global uprising that comprised hundreds of thousands of people.   Throughout this uprising, we have witnessed the Trump Administration’s attempts to distract from the reality of police brutality. This includes President Trump’s conspiracy theories about Martin Gugino, the 75-year old protestor who was hospitalized after being assaulted by Buffalo police officers; and his tear-gassing of protestors for a photo opportunity in front of the White House. The disproportionate prosecution of Urooj and Colin is another iteration of the Trump administration’s attempt to detract from police violence in the US. And indeed, Rahman, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant and Mattis, a young Black man, are convenient scapegoats given this country’s deeply entrenched and violent history of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia.   We believe that the Department of Justice’s prosecution and efforts to incarcerate Urooj and Colin are a gross overreach of federal law enforcement power, and an attempt to stifle and delegitimize dissent against police brutality. Urooj and Colin are facing charges of attempting to burn an unoccupied and already damaged NYPD vehicle during nationwide protests. There is no indication that anyone was in the immediate vicinity when they allegedly committed these acts. Nonetheless, the government has charged Urooj and Colin with federal crimes that carry a 45-year mandatory minimum sentence, and a potential for life imprisonment.  Beyond the excessive charges, the federal government has also taken all measures to ensure that Urooj and Colin are detained pre-trial. Two federal judges - District Judge Brodie and Magistrate Judge Gold - found that Urooj and Colin could be safely released with electronic monitoring and home confinement.  And indeed, both fully complied with these conditions.  Despite this compliance, the federal government swiftly appealed this decision, and they are now back in jail.  By stark contrast, Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who murdered George Floyd, was granted bail.  We firmly believe that the decisions to release Urooj and Colin were the correct ones. Urooj and Colin are life-long New Yorkers, and respected attorneys who have given back to their communities in innumerable ways.   Urooj is a Pakistani-American Muslim who immigrated to the US as a young child. She is a vocal advocate for racial and economic justice who has spent her life in the service of marginalized communities. Urooj has long been engaged in advocacy on the over-policing of Black and Brown communities in New York, particularly around the targeting and over-surveillance of Muslims after 9/11. She is a graduate of Fordham College and Fordham Law School. As a law student, Urooj co-directed an LGBTQI human rights defender training in Cape Town, South Africa. She also worked to assist and advocate for refugees fleeing to Turkey, providing direct services to asylum seekers in Istanbul. In her final year, Urooj championed the preservation of our constitutional protections through her work at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Fordham Law’s Center for National Security. As an attorney, Urooj worked at Bronx Legal Services, providing legal representation for low-income tenants in housing court. Urooj is a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She lives with and cares for her elderly mother in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where she grew up.   Like Urooj, Colin is a devoted advocate for Black and Latinx youth, and his commitment to race equity has profoundly enriched the communities he is a part of. In 2019, Colin was recognized by Her Justice for his outstanding pro bono advocacy for low-income women. Outside of work and after the recent death of his mother, Colin has taken on the responsibility of raising three young foster siblings and has provided for his family with emotional and financial support.   We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Urooj and Colin and call on the federal government to drop these politically motivated charges and its aggressive pursuit of detention without bail. Two well-respected federal judges both decided that Urooj and Colin should safely await trial in their communities. The federal government should not be allowed to use this prosecution as a weapon to silence the voices of those demanding the change that this country so desperately needs."

   On June 5 Inner City Press noted even that that the forthcoming decision might turn on EDNY District Judge Brodie's failure to mention the applicable presumption.

 Now after 5 pm on June 5, this remand: "The Government moves for a stay, pending appeal, of the district court’s order releasing Defendants-Appellees on bond, subject to conditions including home detention and electronic monitoring. It is hereby ORDERED that the stay motion is GRANTED. Whether to grant a stay is “an exercise of judicial discretion” that requires consideration of the relevant factors, including, most critically, the likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm to the movant absent a stay. Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433–34 (2009) (quoting Virginian Ry. Co. v. United States, 272 U.S. 658, 672 (1926)). The United States Marshals are directed to take Defendants into custody forthwith. Defendants shall be detained pending further order of this Court. It is further ORDERED that the appeal shall be expedited." Full order on Patreon here. Watch this site.

Live tweeted thread of appeal argument here.

 On June 2, the appeal was filed, full text on Patreon here


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