Samantha Shader, who threw a Molotov cocktail at NYPD van, sentenced to 6 years

A protester who admitted to hurling a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van occupied by four police officers during the 2020 George Floyd protests in Brooklyn was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday.

Brooklyn federal judge Dora Irizarry handed down the sentence to 29-year-old Samantha Shader after she snapped at her court-appointed attorney – whom she accused of trying to defend herself despite her client attempting to set fire to him pleaded guilty to arson attack.

Shader’s attorney, Amanda David, argued that her client was drinking and using drugs before she threw the incendiary device on the Crown Heights police car on May 29, 2020 when she was asking the judge for a five-year sentence.

But Irizarry chided the lawyer, claiming she built an inadequate legal defense before sentencing.

“It’s a legal defense. Incapacity is a legal defense. That is exactly what you argued,” the judge said.

“You can’t talk with both sides of your mouth,” she added.

Samantha Shader
Samantha Shader, 29, was sentenced to six years in prison for attempted arson.

The judge also cut David off when the lawyer argued that Shader broke down in tears after her arrest – when she allegedly found the van was full of cops.

Irizarry said it was “really hard to believe she didn’t see people in the vehicle.”

“She just couldn’t have seen that there were people in the vehicle,” she said.

Samantha Shader
“I’m sorry for what I did,” Shader said before being sentenced to six years in prison.
Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center

The judge’s tongue-lashing continued as David addressed the psychiatric treatment Shader had received from New York Federal Defenders since her incarceration in a Brooklyn federal prison.

Shader, from Saugerties, was treated for 70 hours at the Metropolitan Detention Center – a significant amount considering most of the inmates occupied by the federal defenders are people of color who don’t get treatment behind bars, Irizarry noted.

Irizarry added that she has seen many defendants who have suffered trauma worse than shaders who have never received treatment.

When asked why this was so, David dodged the question, again stoking the judge’s ire.

“You’re not answering my question. You can move on because I don’t expect you to,” she told David.

Samantha Shader
Prosecutors have asked that Shader be sentenced to more than seven years in prison for the attempted arson attack.

The chief attorney for the federal defense attorneys in Brooklyn said in an email that Irizarry’s characterization was inaccurate.

“Judge Irizarry sees only those cases before her that are hardly a representative sample. Your extrapolation is inaccurate,” said Attorney Deirdre von Dornum.

“I’m glad our organization was able to help Ms. Shader find some comfort during her incarceration, and I’m saddened by the 72-month sentence she was given, which is well outside the norm for those accused of the same.” Punishment is charged for conduct both within this district and nationally,” von Dornum added.

Before Irizarry announced the verdict, Shader apologized for the attempted arson attack and once spoke directly to an NYPD inspector at the hearing, who was identified in court as a victim of the attack.

“I’m sorry for what I did. What I did was wrong and disrespectful. I’m really sorry,” she said.

Arguing that Shader should be jailed for more than seven years, prosecutor Jonathan Algor argued she knew what she was doing that night and had every intention of “making a heap” at the Brooklyn protests.

At her hearing, Shader said she set fire to a piece of paper sticking out of a bottle she believed contained a flammable substance.

“Then I threw the bottle at a parked NYPD vehicle. I did so recklessly and with willful disregard for the possibility that harm could result,” she said.

The bottle shattered the two rear windows of the parked van but did not ignite because Shader used toilet paper instead of a rag as a fuse, prosecutors have claimed. No officers were injured in the attempted attack on the Eastern Parkway near the Brooklyn Museum that night.

Urooj Rahman, the first of two attorneys who have pleaded guilty to setting fire to an empty police car at another protest in Brooklyn, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday. Colinford Mattis, who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and possess an explosive device in June, is due to be sentenced next month.

https://nypost.com/2022/11/15/woman-who-threw-molotov-cocktail-at-nypd-van-sentenced-to-6-years/ Samantha Shader, who threw a Molotov cocktail at NYPD van, sentenced to 6 years

JACLYN DIAZ

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