NEW YORK (PIX11) – Samantha Shader, a protester who threw a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD van filled with police officers during protests over George Floyd’s death in 2020, was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday.
Shader, a 29-year-old from Saugerties in upstate New York, traveled to Brooklyn on May 29, 2020, to take part in a march protesting the murder of Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
That night during a large protest near the Brooklyn Museum, Shader was recorded on video lighting a Molotov cocktail and throwing it at an NYPD van filled with four police officers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Molotov cocktail shattered two of the NYPD van’s windows but did not ignite, authorities said.
Shader was arrested at the scene. She pleaded guilty earlier this year in April.
“The constitutionally protected right to peaceful protest is a core democratic value. Over the course of this nation’s history, protests have led to significant positive changes. But, throwing a potentially lethal device at an NYPD van occupied by four officers during a protest was an unacceptable and dangerous act, which put the officers and others present at risk,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “This Office is committed to holding accountable those who, like this defendant, commit crimes that endanger the community and the lives of the dedicated officers of the NYPD.”
Police also arrested 31-year-old Saugerties resident Timothy Amerman for providing Shader with the glass bottles she used to make the Molotov cocktails. Amerman believed Shader would use the bottles as projectiles against police and counter-protesters, authorities said.
Amerman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit civil disorder in March 2021. He faces a maximum of 5 years in prison.