An upstate New York woman accused of hurling a Molotov cocktail at an occupied NYPD van during a chaotic George Floyd protest in Brooklyn pleaded not guilty Friday.

Through her lawyer, Samantha Shader, 27, of Saugerties, N.Y., entered the plea to seven counts lodged against her in an indictment — and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Shader allegedly lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it at an NYPD vehicle occupied by four police officers May 29 near Eastern Parkway and Washington Ave. in Crown Heights, shattering two of the van’s windows.

“These charges have arisen from your alleged participation in the protest demonstration and your alleged Molotov attack on (police officers),” Brooklyn federal Judge Dora Irizarry said.

“Your honor, Ms. Shader pleads not guilty to all charges in the indictment,” defense lawyer Amanda David replied.

In her initial interviews with law enforcement, Shader falsely claimed a Black demonstrator handed her the Molotov cocktail, according to court papers.

She alleged the makeshift bomb was handed to her by a “thicker” Black man “with skinny dreads” of different colors, as well as a second Black man and a Black woman, according to court papers.

The Black man told her they intended to “prove a point” with the homemade bomb, Shader said.

She told investigators she didn’t know the trio but “felt important at the time she took the bottle because she was the only white person in the area,” court papers say.

Investigators, however, recovered a note from her friend Timothy Amerman implying that he provided her with the bomb-making materials.


“I found a few more glass bottles than I thought I had, though still not many,” wrote Amerman, according to court papers. “BE SAFE. Please. Really. Good luck, love Tim.” Amerman was charged for his alleged role in the incident and released on $10,000 bond July 6.

Shader, who is being held at Metropolitan Detention Complex in Brooklyn, was told by the judge to avoid the risk of catching COVID-19 while incarcerated.

“Please make sure that you follow all the safety protocols and that you stay healthy, okay?” Judge Irizarry said.

“Okay,” Shader answered.

Shader is due back in court Aug. 11.

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