Protester Blamed ‘Black Man’ for Giving Her Molotov Cocktail Gear. Then Cops Found Note From a White Painter.

·4 min read
Thomas Urbain/AFP via Getty
Thomas Urbain/AFP via Getty

When 27-year-old Samantha Shader was first arrested for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at police, she told detectives that the supplies—including glass bottles—were given to her by a group of Black men and women, according to federal court records.

But weeks later, on Friday, police arrested a white man who admitted to providing the materials, 29-year-old Timothy Amerman. According to court records and a Facebook page that appears to belong to Amerman, he works as a painter in Saugerties, New York. Amerman faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of civil disorder or civil disorder conspiracy, for which he was charged in a federal complaint this week.

Shader allegedly threw the explosive at a police vehicle with four New York Police Department officers inside at 11 p.m. on May 29 during the nationwide unrest following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, prosecutors have said. The vehicle was damaged but the officers—who were reportedly uninjured—were able to jump out of the van and chase Shader down.

New York Cops Beat Protesters for Crime of Being There

Prosecutors have claimed that Shader bit one of the officers’ legs when she was being taken into custody. She was arrested early the next morning in Brooklyn, and waived her Miranda rights, telling law enforcement officers that she was “approached on the street and given ‘the bottle’ by a Black male, who was in a group with one other Black male and a Black woman,” federal prosecutors allege in the federal complaint against Amerman.

Shader “described the man who handed the bottle to her as a ‘thicker guy’ with hair in ‘skinny dreads’ that were different colors,” and the second man “as smaller than the first and wore a hat that concealed his hair,” the complaint claims, noting that Shader alleged the woman had “poofy” hair.

“Shader stated that she felt [it was] important at the time she took the bottle because she was the only white person in the area,” the complaint claimed.

Prosecutors said that Shader, who was allegedly caught on camera hurling the bottle toward the police vehicle, has been previously arrested 11 times in 11 states. She was reportedly convicted in three of those incidents. Shader’s court-appointed lawyer, Amanda David, has repeatedly declined to comment on the charges, and she did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast on Saturday.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Footage allegedly showing Samatha Shader hurling the Molotov cocktail.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York</div>

Footage allegedly showing Samatha Shader hurling the Molotov cocktail.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York

But when officers searched the car Shader and her sister drove to New York City from her home in Catskill, police said they found a note with Amerman’s fingerprints that read: “I found a few more glass bottles Than I thought I had, Though still not many. I’m giving you my mask in hopes That helps. Wish I had more. There’s also a bag in here for you. BE SAFE Please. Really Good Luck, - Love Tim.”

Shader was previously indicted on seven charges related to the incident, and her case is pending. Her sister, Darian, was charged with resisting arrest for allegedly jumping on the back of an officer who was trying to detain Shader.

During the protests after Floyd’s death, the NYPD was heavily criticized for its often violent response, in one case shoving a Brooklyn woman to the ground, causing her to be hospitalized. The next day, videos showed police cruisers driving into a crowd of protesters. The Daily Beast reported that a hospital worker simply walking home from his job was beaten by police that same weekend.

In an interview with authorities, Amerman admitted that he gave Shader “projectiles to throw at police and counter-protesters,” but decided against joining her to “cause some hell,” according to the complaint filed in his arrest.

Amerman was set to appear in federal court in Albany on Saturday afternoon, followed by a bail hearing. He was still in custody on Saturday and did not yet have a defense attorney listed on federal court documents.

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