Video that has resurfaced after the new Massachusetts US attorney was narrowly confirmed by the US Senate, with Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, shows President Joe Biden’s latest appointee angrily confronting journalists in January 2021 over a road rage incident, in which she cut off a white motorist and then appeared to impersonate a police office in a Boston parking lot.
Biden tapped Suffolk Country District Attorney Rachael Rollins to lead the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts in July.
But in footage recorded by Boston 25 News 11 months prior, Rollins angrily threatens a news team with legal action, accuses them of endangering her children for asking for an interview near her home, and brings up the race of the other driver involved in the Boston parking lot dustup.
In a series of tweets following her foul-mouthed exchange with the news crew, Rollins claimed that she had been accosted by a ‘masked white man’ who jumped out of his truck and removed something ‘large & dark’ from the trunk, leaving her and her children feeling ‘terrified,’ she wrote.
Rollins has a history of making public statements invoking race, railing against police brutality and expressing support for Black Lives Matter protesters.
Newly resurfaced video shows the new Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins angrily confronting reporters about an incident involving a white motorist in January 2021
The news crew was investigating allegations made by Katie Lawson (pictured) that Rollins threatened her when Lawson cut the attorney off in a mall parking lot
The video from January 2021 shows Biden appointee Rollins engaging in an angry confrontation with a news crew near her home
After the road rage incident, Rollins argued in a tweet that he thought she was being attacked by ‘a masked white man’ who turned out to have been a member of a news crew
US Attorney Rachael Rollins’ controversial past comments on race, policing and BLM
The newly appointed Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins has an extensive history of making controversial statements about race, and criticizing the American criminal justice system and policing.
During a panel discussion with prosecutors from around the country in February 2020, then-US Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott, who is white, spoke critically of criminal justice reforms and brought up spiking homicide rates in Baltimore City and Philadelphia, which have progressive prosecutors.
Rollins, who was also on the panel, clapped back at Scott, declaring: ‘I will say, as one of less than 1 per cent of actual people with melanin that are in this role… I really don’t have much time for more white men telling me what communities of color need.’
Then in June of last year, Rollins sparked outrage in the law enforcement community when she mounted the podium at Boston City Hall following violent clashes between protesters and the police in the wake of George Floy’s murder, and accused police of murdering black people.
The then-Suffolk County DA stated, in part: ‘as your elected district attorney, we have looked around this country and seen police officers — people that black lives pay taxes to fund these positions — shoot us in the street as if we were animals.’
She continued: ‘people are disgusted and outraged, and they should be. And it is completely ironic to have to say to you, ‘Please don’t be violent. Please keep your voice down. Please be silent and comply with all of the police’s requirements,” when in fact it’s those very people that murder us with impunity. But that’s where we are right now.’
A day before delivering her provocative speech, Rollins sent out a tweet in a similar vain, demanding ‘radical change.’
‘Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Christian Cooper,’ Rollins stated, invoking the names of black people who were killed around the US during confrontations with police or white civilians. ‘While we are being murdered at will by the police & their proxy, privileged racists like Amy Cooper play the victim,” Rollins wrote. “No more apologies. No more words. Demand action. Radical change now. Nothing less.’
Rollins’ blistering critique prompted the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association to rebuke her in a strongly-worded letter, which accused the DA of slandering all police officers as murderers, and labeled her comments ‘dangerous, divisive, and wholly unwarranted.’
A defiant Rollins responded to the letter by claiming that her remarks were not ‘anti-police’ but rather ‘anti-police brutality.’
She then made a sarcastic jab at the police union, tweeting: ‘And did I somehow miss BPPA’s letter denouncing the murder of George Floyd and calling for the immediate termination and prosecution of the 4 police that murdered him and/or watched and did nothing while he died? White fragility is real, people.’
Rollins continued being a vocal advocate for equity in the criminal justice reform, tweeting in January of this year: ‘THERE ARE TWO CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS. If this happens, we must dismiss & expunge every criminal charge filed against BLM protestors in our country. Prosecutorial discretion has only ever benefited certain people & certain communities. I say NOT ANYMORE.’
Rollins’ remarks were in response to a news article reporting that federal prosecutors were considering not charging some of the January 6 Capitol rioters.
She followed up with a series tweets invoking race on topics ranging from vaccination sites in majority-black communities to Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
In February, Rollins tweeted: ‘Not only do Black lives matter, but Black lives make our society significantly better every single day. A beautiful resistance is the simple belief and knowledge that we as Black people are always more than enough.’
Boston 25’s report from this past January states that the station’s news crew was investigating an incident in which Rollins had an angry confrontation with a local woman at a shopping center.
At one point she appeared to reference the woman in question’s race, asking: ‘So the rantings of a white woman get you here and scare my children?’
‘Get off our private property, and I swear to God, I’m dead serious. I will find your name.’
When the clip begins Rollins looks visibly irritated, telling the news team getting her attention, ‘My kids are inside.’
Rollins demands to know how the news team found her home and they tell her it’s a matter of public record.
‘That’s unbelievable,’ the attorney answers. ‘So as a Black woman, in this moment in this country, you’re going to put my f**king house on screen?’
The female reporter attempts to calm Rollins, telling her they just came to ask her a few questions and they ‘never even knocked on the door.’
‘Get away from my family. Speak to me at my job. If I get hurt or harmed because of this, you are on the record for that, or my kids are f**king killed,’ Rollins says in the video.
‘Who do you think you are? This is private property. Get out of here.’
She again threatened the news crew, ‘You know what I’ll do? I’ll call the police on you and make an allegation, and we’ll see how that works for you.’
A Boston police officer seems to step in toward the end, asking the news crew to stop for the sake of Rollins’ children.
The attorney is then seen returning to her vehicle when the video ends.
The damning footage was resurfaced by Fox in a Thursday afternoon report.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House and the United States Attorney’s office in the District of Massachusetts for comment.
Shortly before the confrontation, Boston 25 spoke with a woman, Katie Lawson, who told the outlet Rollins confronted her when she attempted to merge ahead of the attorney’s car while both were leaving the parking lot.
‘She pulled her car about three inches from my car and said, “Do you want me to write you a ticket? Because I’ll write you a ticket,” put on the sirens, put on the strobe lights for like, probably a couple of seconds,’ Lawson reportedly said of Rollins, adding she said ‘Today is not the day to try me.’
Lawson said of the incident, ‘I 1,000 percent thought that she was a police officer because the only person I know that can write you a ticket is an actual a police officer. So she implied, in my opinion, she implied that she was a police officer. I thought she was a police officer. That’s why I called the police department.’
As a district attorney, Rollins had no power to issue Lawson a ticket, and it does not appear as if the woman had broken any traffic laws in the first place.
Lawson was concerned enough about her interaction with Rollins that she asked a friend in her passenger seat to take a photo of the other woman’s license plate, and then contacted the local police department to report what had happened.
Rollins has a track record of being a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform and racial justice.
During a February 2020 meeting with prosecutors from around the US, Rollins, in responding to a white male California US attorney’s speech criticizing a progressive approach to criminal justice, invoked her skin color and said: ‘I really don’t have much time for more white men telling me what communities of color need.’
Four months later, at the height of the protests over the murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, Rollins got into a war of words with Boston’s police union after declaring that police officers ‘shoot us in the street as if we were animals and ‘murder us with impunity.’
When the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association accused Rollins of slandering police officers, the DA clapped back, arguing that her remarks were ‘anti-police brutality’ and not ‘anti-police.’
Biden’s nomination of Rollins was the subject of controversy last week when Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a bid to delay her confirmation.
The effort had been led by Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who labeled Rollins a ‘radical, pro-criminal prosecutor.’
She fired back at the lawmaker in a Monday interview on Boston Public Radio.
Rollins made history when she was confirmed by the Senate as the first black woman to lead the Massachusetts US Attorney’s Office. She was confirmed in a 51-50 party line vote
The incident occurred when Rollins was still Suffolk County District Attorney (pictured in 2018)
Biden’s July nomination of Rollins to lead the Massachusetts office was praised by progressives in Congress
During a February 2020 meeting with fellow prosecutors, Rollins said, in responding to a white male California US attorney’s speech: ‘I really don’t have much time for more white men telling me what communities of color need’
‘I wish I lived a life where I could just say something out loud, wouldn’t have to cite a single thing in support of it, and the media just gobbled it up like delicious peach cobbler,’ Rollins quipped.
Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, launched a blistering rhetorical attack against Biden’s nominee on Wednesday, arguing that she is ‘part of a web of left-wing district attorneys across the country who see it as their job not to prosecute crime, [but] rather, to protect criminals.’
Cruz then proceeded to name some of the 15 crimes that Rollins has said she would not prosecute, including trespass, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest, which the GOP senator sarcastically dubbed the ‘crown jewel’ of the list.
‘Joe Biden and Senate Democrats—they’re bringing that to a neighborhood near you,’ Cruz added.
Rollins’ July nomination was met with praise by progressives in the House and Senate. Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts said she was an ‘excellent choice’ for Biden.
‘She has fought to transform our legal system by prioritizing racial justice, decarceration & reimagining public safety in MA,’ Pressley wrote.
Elizabeth Warren spoke for both of the state’s senators when she said she and Ed Markey were ‘proud to recommend her to the Biden administration.’
On her campaign website for her previous role as Suffolk County DA, Rollins shares a list of crimes she would not prosecute including drug possession, disorderly conduct and minor possession of alcohol.
Rollins commented on her approach to her role as a prosecutor in a tweet from March 2021: ‘I have & always will be concerned with public safety, but prosecution is not always the best way of ensuring safety. Adopting declination and diversion policies is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. The data doesn’t lie.’