Colinford Mattis’ trajectory from a working-class upbringing in East New York to the Ivy League and corporate law abruptly ended at about 1 a.m. May 30, 2020, when a Molotov cocktail ignited the center console of an empty police car during a Black Lives Matter protest.
On Thursday afternoon, Judge Brian Cogan of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn sentenced Mattis, one of two young lawyers who burned the vehicle during the protests days after the murder of George Floyd, to 12 months and a day in prison and a year of post-release supervision.
Mattis, 35, has lost his law license, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and having acknowledged he had broken the law he had sworn to uphold. Now he may lose much more: the guardianship and planned adoption of three foster children. The oldest is 14.