A White woman accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police car in late May during a George Floyd protest in Brooklyn claims she was given the device by a Black protester, New York prosecutors say.
But investigators said the woman got the bottle for the Molotov cocktail from a friend in upstate New York, according to court filings from the US District Court, Eastern District of New York.
The woman, Samantha Shader, was indicted June 11 on seven counts: use of explosives, arson, using an explosive to commit a felony, arson conspiracy, use of a destructive device, civil disorder and possessing and making a destructive device.
Prosecutors say video provided by a witness shows Shader approaching an NYPD car filled with four officers in Brooklyn on May 30 and throwing a Molotov cocktail at the car, shattering two windows and causing internal damage to the vehicle. The officers in the vehicle arrested Shader, according to the complaint.
Shader allegedly told authorities after her arrest that she was approached on the street and given a bottle by a Black man who was in a group with another Black man and a Black woman.
“Samantha Shader stated the man who handed her the bottle told her that they were going to prove a point, and (she) stated that she felt important at the time she took the bottle because she was the only White person in the area,” according to court filings.
Prosecutors say Shader agreed to speak with law enforcement in recorded interviews, where she admitted to possessing the Molotov cocktail made from a bottle and throwing it at the NYPD vehicle, but denied that she constructed the cocktail herself. CNN has reached out to attorneys representing Shader for comment.
Investigators in the complaint said that the bottle Shader threw at the NYPD car was actually provided to Shader by her co-defendant, a man named Timothy Amerman, a 29-year-old painter from Saugerties, New York.
Prosecutors say Amerman voluntarily spoke to investigators and admitted he agreed to give Shader and her sister glass bottles to take to the protest in New York City, but did not attend the protest himself. Amerman told authorities he drinks Bulleit bourbon, and a witness who recorded Shader throwing the Molotov cocktail gave authorities a Bulleit bottle that was recovered from the scene, according to court filings.
Investigators also matched fingerprints for Amerman and Shader on a note where Amerman allegedly wrote that he “found a few more glass bottles” than he thought he had. The note was addressed to Shader and her sister.
When authorities asked Amerman what he thought Shader planned to do with the glass bottles he gave her, he said he believed Shader “planned to use them as projectiles to throw at police and counter protestors” and that he didn’t think Shader would use the glass bottles to create Molotov cocktails. CNN attempted to contact Amerman and his attorney for comment.
Amerman was arrested Saturday and charged with civil disorder and civil disorder conspiracy. A US magistrate judge allowed Amerman to be released on bond to home confinement with electronic monitoring. If convicted, Amerman faces up to 10 years in prison.
Shader, whose arraignment is scheduled for July 17, faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to the US Attorney’s office.