A woman in Brooklyn was charged with the attempted murder of four NYPD police officers after allegedly hurling what police believe was a molotov cocktail incendiary device at a marked and occupied police van, early Saturday.
Samantha Shader, 27, was charged with four counts of attempted murder after she threw the suspected incendiary device at the rear window of the van, police told the New York Post. The device failed to ignite and officers were able to safely get out of the vehicle.
Shader was also charged with assaulting an officer. She allegedly bit one officer on the leg as police took her into custody. She faces additional charges of criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
Shader’s sister Darian, 21, also attempted to block officers from arresting her sister and was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.
A U.S. Department of Justice press release listed Shader along with two others suspected of attempting to attack police with molotov cocktails, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman. Rahman threw a molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle and was arrested alongside Mattis, in possession of components for an explosive device shortly after the reported molotov attack.
“These defendants are charged with attacking the New York City Police Department while its Police Officers are risking their lives to protect the Constitutional rights of protesters and the safety of us all,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “No rational human being can ever believe that hurling firebombs at Police Officers and vehicles is justified.”
Patrick Lynch, the President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA), said the women should not be able to “hide” under the label of protester, The New York Post reported.
“They are terrorists who tried to murder NYC police officers,” Lynch said. “Every leader in this city should be speaking up to condemn these attacks and working with us to prevent more violence. Sadly, they are either silent or working against us.”
William F. Sweeney, the FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge for the New York Field Office, also condemned the attack.
“When you conduct a violent attack that breaks federal law, the FBI New York office, along with our NYPD and Department of Justice partners, will move with speed to hold you accountable,” Sweeney said.
The incident comes amid mass protesting and rioting following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protests first emerged in the city of Minneapolis, but have spread to cities throughout the country. Many protest events have turned to vandalism and looting. A Department of Homeland Security agent has already been shot and killed and another agent was hospitalized and in critical condition following violent protests in Oakland, California on Friday night.