Imagine my surprise at seeing this tweet from Yahoo News.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) June 23, 2020
45 years for vandalism? Really? What a horrible racist system, seems to be the point of the tweet and the story.
Except if you’ve been following along with this story, it’s not true, not be a long shot.
The two people pictured, Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis, are two lawyers who were arrested for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police van during a BLM protest. Mattis allegedly drove the van while Rahman allegedly threw the Molotov. They were captured by police who found they had more constituent parts for Molotov cocktails in their van including additional bottles and a gasoline can.
From NY Post:
“Rahman attempted to distribute Molotov cocktails to the witness and others so that those individuals could likewise use the incendiary devices in furtherance of more destruction and violence,” the witness later told authorities.
The two were busted by cops after Mattis, who was in the driver’s seat, pulled the van over near the precinct, and Rahman allegedly got out and tossed a lit Molotov cocktail into a cop car.
Images from the detention memo purport to show a masked Rahman clutching a Molotov cocktail made from a Bud Light bottle.
Several cops saw the caper and cornered the pair nearby, according to the memo.
According to federal officials, the seven-count indictments each charge the defendants with the use of explosives, arson, use of explosives to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder, and making or possessing a destructive device.
But “vandalism,” right? Notice how Yahoo also went out of their way to find pics other than the mugshots that show Rahman’s radical leanings with the fist shirt. Their color had nothing to with anything and a third defendant who happens to be white, Samantha Shader, faces similar charges for similar acts.
The article itself keeps trying to push what sterling folks the two defendants are, who don’t pose any threat to anyone (if we just leave out the arson thing). Yahoo has multiple stories seemingly pushing their side and painting them as victims of an evil system, even calling them “role models.”
Their supporters were busy on social media arguing they should be freed and even raising over $126,000 for Rahman’s legal defense.
🔴Freedom for Colin Mattis & Urooj Rahman !
On may 30th, the two attorneys were protesting in New York in defense of #BlackLivesMatter.
They were arrested and charged with alleged property damage. If convicted, they are facing a min. of 45 years in prison.https://t.co/xSVAmEBPEh pic.twitter.com/KoiyIZx99x
— FIDH (@fidh_en) June 23, 2020
Now, bottom line as a practical matter, they’re not getting “45 years,” despite the potential exposure of the charges. But it’s just an out and out lie and fake news to suggest it’s only for “vandalism.”