Mattis and Rahman are high achievers: He is a Princeton and NYU Law grad with a corporate legal job, and she graduated from Fordham Law after spending a summer in “occupied Palestine.” These credentials, of course, didn’t protect them from federal charges after they lobbed Molotov cocktails into an NYPD patrol car, but their defenders now cite them in pleas for leniency and special treatment, both in the courtroom and in the press.
Both were bailed out, with Rahman’s release guaranteed by an Obama-administration alumna who called Rahman her “best friend.” The duo have received friendly coverage in the Intercept, CNN, and NPR. All emphasized the young lawyers’ sterling credentials, echoing a letter signed by hundreds of NYU alumni in their defense.
Compare that with the story of Isaiah Willoughby, a Washington resident now facing federal charges for attempting to burn down a Seattle police station. Willoughby is a former foster kid and a small-time entrepreneur who once ran a quixotic campaign for city council. He also has a rap sheet a mile long.
Willoughby’s case, unlike that of his well-heeled counterparts, has received little attention in the liberal media. He remains in federal lockup, according to Bureau of Prisons records.
Our view—and the Justice Department’s—is that the cases deserve equal treatment.
It is telling that the anti-police left has made Mattis and Rahman their leniency cause célèbre, citing their elite credentials while crowing simultaneously about inequity in the criminal justice system.