There’s always been stories about officers planting things on Black citizens to create reasons for arrests. Well, it seems that former Raleigh Detective Omar Abdullah has made those fears a bit more real for the Black people living in Raleigh, N.C.
According to ABC 11, the Raleigh Police department confirmed on Monday that Abdullah—who was placed on leave last year after he was accused of framing numerous men for heroin trafficking, leading to their arrests—was fired on Oct. 28. He has not been criminally charged.
A civil rights lawsuit was filed back in April against the detective, seven other officers and the City of Raleigh on behalf of 15 Black men who were wrongfully arrested for selling fake heroin. In September, the city agreed to pay $2 million in a settlement.
“They did what they needed to do from a civil perspective. But now we’re talking about criminal,” said Robin Mills, whose son Marcus Van Irvin was one of those arrested in the scheme. “And there’s no way the kidnapping of over a dozen black men is not criminal.”
Here’s what the former detective was involved in, from ABC 11:
Abdullah was paying a confidential informant who promised to tip-off officers to Raleigh heroin dealers. Instead, the district attorney said the informant returned with videos and audio recordings of drug buys with critical clips missing and a substance that lab tests revealed months later wasn’t drugs at all.
The civil rights lawsuit said fake heroin was also planted by detective Abdullah with the knowledge of other officers.
The attorneys said wrongful prosecutions caused those who were arrested to spend roughly a combined 2.5 years in jail before the charges were dismissed.
The News & Observer reports that one of the attorneys for the lawsuit, Abraham Rubert-Schewel, said that at least six more people have come forward as victims of the frame job.
Here’s more about the informant Abdullah used, from News & Observer:
In August 2018, Raleigh police officers including Abdullah arrested Dennis Leon Williams, according to court records. He was charged with selling a counterfeit controlled substance. The charge was dismissed at the end of February 2019, “in the interest of justice,” court records indicate.
From October 2018 to May 15, 2020, Williams claimed, at least 15 people had sold him drugs that turned out to be fake, the lawsuit states.
All of the charges were dismissed by July 30, 2020.
In September, Williams was charged with five counts of obstructing justice in the fake drugs scheme. The case is pending.
Surprise, surprise, no other officer was placed on leave or fired, News & Observer reports. And get this, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman’s office investigated the claims last year but decided not to prosecute Abdullah.
“We want to ensure that every detail has been considered prior to closing the matter due to the serious nature of the allegations,” the district attorney wrote, according to News & Observer. “As I’ve stated previously a conclusion that there is insufficient evidence of criminal intent by Detective Abdullah is not the same thing as saying there are not grave concerns by me of the way this matter unfolded.”