A Boston woman spoke out on Friday after video footage resurfaced of President Joe Biden‘s new US Attorney Rachel Rollins confronting reporters about a road rage incident that involved her.
Katie Lawson had a run-in last year with Rollins, who was appointed U.S. attorney for Massachusetts on Wednesday, when the then district attorney pretended to be a cop and threatened to write Lawson a ticket in a Boston shopping mall parking lot.
Lawson, who is white, had attempted to merge in front of Rollins, who is black, when the pair were leaving the lot last December.
Video footage captured Rollins confronting a group of newscasters in January following the controversial incident, which has recently resurfaced.
Lawson told DailyMail.com on Friday that she’s happy her case is finally getting some national coverage, but upset it’s only come after Rollins’ confirmation.
‘It’s just sad you put that much effort in and people don’t even acknowledge you,’ she said. ‘Now that it’s a ‘scandal,’ people are finally paying attention.’
Katie Lawson, who spoke with Tucker Carlson about a road rage incident involving US Attorney Rachael Rollins, told DailyMail.com ‘people are scared of her and I understand why’
Video footage of Rollins confronting reporters resurfaced after they questioned about a road rage incident involving Lawson in January
Rollins was congratulated by prosecutors on Wednesday after she was appointed as the new US District Attorney
Lawson had filed the complaint in December 2020 after Rollins had cut her off in the South Bay Mall parking lot, according to an incident report.
She had claimed Rollins had yelled ‘You don’t want to try me today lady, you really don’t!’ in the beginning of the confrontation.
Rollins then said ‘You want me to give you a ticket, I will give you a ticket’ before turning on strobes and sirens. She had also blown through a red light after leaving the parking lot.
Lawson reportedly told Rollins to ‘just go’ multiple times over the course of the confrontation.
She also asked a passenger in the vehicle with her to take a picture of Rollins’ plates and had reported the incident to the police when she arrived home.
‘People are afraid to challenge Rachael Rollins and I understand why,’ Lawson told DailyMail.com on Friday. ‘I’m probably the first person who challenged her and wasn’t afraid to stand up to her.
‘I was nervous at first, but I know I’m doing the right thing. She’s not a person of good character. She’s dishonest and she makes attempts at intimidating her victims by making herself the victim.’
When confronted by the Fox 5 news crew, Rollins dismissed Lawson’s complaint as ‘the rantings of a white woman.’
Lawson told DailyMail.com that the incident had not been further investigated after filing complaints because of Rollins’ position
But Lawson notes that she was in her car with her fiancé, who’s black. She was a state employee and a registered Democrat at the time of the incident.
She explained that she had no idea it was Rollins at the time. Lawson said she initially thought she was a police officer when she activated her siren and threatened a ticket, then thought she was just a ‘crazy person’ based on her temperament.
After reporting the incident, she said Boston police did not investigate because Rollins was the district attorney.
Lawson took her complaint to the attorney general’s office, which referred the case to the state ethics commission, which took no action.
She intends to remain a thorn in Rollins’ side. She said she’ll continue to speak out on national media and is calling for Rollins to apologize and resign.
‘She still owes me an apology and she owes the news woman she attacked an apology as well, publicly,’ she said.
‘And she should resign from her position. She’s definitely unfit, unhinged. And if you can’t take questions from the media as district attorney, what happens when you’re a United States attorney?’
In the footage from Boston 25 News, Rollins had angrily threatened journalists with legal action, accusing them of endangering her children because they asked for an interview near her home about the incident.
She also brings up the race of the other driver involved in the Boston parking lot dustup, but doesn’t acknowledge what transpired.
News crews, such as Boston 25, were investigating the allegations made by Lawson after she claimed Rollins had cut her off in a parking lot and threatened to write her a ticket
In the heated exchange with Boston 25, Rollins appeared to reference Lawson’s race, asking the crew: ‘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 resurfaced Thursday afternoon.
The attorney had also previously tweeted about the incident and tried to misrepresent her foul-mouthed exchange with the news crew, claiming in a series of tweets 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.’
Rollins – the first black woman in history confirmed for her new position, which required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris – has been involved in many other controversial incidents in the past.
Rollins, seen above with unidentified police officers, dismissed revelations that she had been charged with misdemeanor receiving stolen property as a teenager
According to the Boston Herald, Rollins was charged with the misdemeanor crime of receiving stolen goods in 1991, when she was 19.
She pleaded not guilty and paid court costs of $200, and five months later the case was continued without a finding and eventually dismissed.
The court records did not specify what the stolen property was and Rollins refused to release any details about the incident, except to say it was ‘minor’ and ‘informed how she views criminal justice reform.’
In a tweet, Rollins slammed the article, writing ‘as a teenager, I received a paper summons in the mail for a misdemeanor, that got dismissed.’
‘The Herald is acting like I’m El Chapo. I am living proof that my policies work. We should be celebrating those who don’t recidivate, not shaming them,’ she added.
During a panel discussion with prosecutors in February 2020, Rollins declared: ‘I really don’t have much time for more white men telling me what communities of color need’
In June of last year, when Rollins was Suffolk County DA, she spurred a bitter feud with a police officers’ union when she took to the podium at Boston City Hall and referred to cops as ‘murderers’.
Speaking after violent protests against police brutality, Rollins condemned attacks against police but said that she shared many of the protesters frustrations, saying cops ‘shoot us in the street as if we were animals’.
‘People are disgusted and outraged, and they should be,’ she added in her remarks, according to the Boston Globe.
‘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.’
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association responded with fury, telling Rollins in an open letter: ‘While you quickly and cavalierly label all police officers murderers, the fact is that BPD officers responded to violent attacks against them with courage and restraint.
‘Instead of slandering our officers as murderers, you should be highlighting their professionalism and dedication to our city,’ the union’s leaders said.
Rollins fired back in a tweet, saying that her remarks were not ‘anti-police’ but rather ‘anti-police brutality’ and adding ‘White fragility is real, people.’
In another incident, Rollins cited the authority of her ‘melanin’ to shut down a colleague who disagreed with her progressive policies.
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 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 percent 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.’
Charges that Rollins refused to prosecute as Suffolk County DA
- Shoplifting (including offenses that are essentially shoplifting but charged as larceny)
- Larceny under $250
- Disorderly conduct
- Disturbing the peace
- Receiving stolen property
- Minor driving offenses, including operating with a suspend or revoked license
- Breaking and entering — where it is into a vacant property or where it is for the purpose of sleeping or seeking refuge from the cold and there is no actual damage to property
- Wanton or malicious destruction of property
- Threats – excluding domestic violence
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Drug possession
- Drug possession with intent to distribute
- A stand alone resisting arrest charge, i.e. cases where a person is charged with resisting arrest and that is the only charge
- A resisting arrest charge combined with only charges that all fall under the list of charges to decline to prosecute, e.g. resisting arrest charge combined only with a trespassing charge
As Suffolk County DA, Rollins vowed not to prosecute a range of less serious offenses, saying that the community would be better served by leniency.
In confirmation hearings, Senate Republicans objected to the list of 15 crimes Rollins pledged not to prosecute from shoplifting to drug possession.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz called her ‘lawless’ and argued she was ‘vocal and aggressive against prosecuting crime.’
Supporters including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have countered by citing research showing that declined prosecutions and Rollins’ policies had contributed to reductions in offenders facing a new criminal complaint.
Rollins worked as a federal prosecutor earlier in her career, and took office in 2019 as the first black woman elected to serve as the district attorney in Suffolk County, which covers Boston.
Rollins campaigned on a promise to decline prosecution for some low-level crimes and had been vocal in demanding police reform even before the nationwide protests prompted by the May 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
The daughter of an Irish-American father and a mother born to immigrants from Barbados, Rollins was born in Boston and raised in Cambridge.
She attended the elite private Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, where she played lacrosse, and earned a full scholarship in the sport at Division 1 UMass-Amherst.
After the university eliminated women’s lacrosse following her freshman year, her interest in the law was sparked when legal threats succeeded in convincing the athletic director to reinstate the cut programs.
‘Our lawyer threatened a Title 9 lawsuit,’ she recalled in an interview with the East Boston Time-Free Press. ‘The AD completely changed his tune. We got all of our teams re-instituted after a while.’
Rollins graduated from law school at Northeastern University and earned a Master of Laws degree in labor and unemployment law from Georgetown University.
In addition to her work as a prosecutor, she has previously served as chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Port Authority, general counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and worked in private practice.
President Joe Biden nominated Rollins in July to head the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, which gained national prominence investigating the ‘Varsity Blues’ college admissions scandal.
Rollins is part of a movement of ‘progressive prosecutors’ who seek to eliminate racial disparities in the justice system and reject a traditional ‘tough on crime’ culture that they say has led to the disproportionate incarceration of black men.
US Attorney Rachael Rollins has a history of controversial 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.’
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’
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 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
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.’