Raleigh police detective Omar Abdullah—who was fired from the department in October after the City of Raleigh settled for $2 million with the families of 15 Black men who were charged and imprisoned in a fake heroin scheme—continues to be a liability for the city.

Abdullah is now the subject of another lawsuit connected to the scheme after an informant working with Abdullah, Dennis Leon Williams Jr. who planted fake drugs on people, gave the wrong address to Raleigh police officers, and then those officers, allegedly with a no-knock warrant, raided the home of an innocent family, pointing guns and using excessive force against them, including a paralyzed child.

Attorneys on behalf of Yolanda Irving, whose home was raided on May 21, 2020, and her family and neighbors filed the 32-page federal complaint in the U.S. District of Eastern North Carolina.

“RPD officers pointed assault rifles at Plaintiffs, some of whom were minor children, entered their homes suddenly, forcefully, and without consent or warning, frisked and searched them, and forced them to sit on the ground for over an hour while their homes were ransacked,” the complaint states.

“This action seeks damages on behalf of plaintiffs for the loss of liberty, extraordinary emotional pain and suffering and injuries to their person that plaintiffs were forced to endure as a consequence of defendants’ decidedly wrongful actions.”

Irving, a bus driver for Wake County students with special needs, was at home with three of her children the morning of the raid. Her neighbor, Kenya Walton, and her four children plus another teen, were all detained while officers searched Irving’s apartment. In addition to an unspecified amount for which Irving is suing for damages, the mother of five told the News and Observer she wants an apology:

After police raided the apartments, Abdullah provided a search warrant to Irving that had the right address but a picture of an apartment door that was not hers.

Abdullah left offering no apology, she said.

“I never got an apology. I never got anything from the Raleigh Police Department,” Irving, 45, told The News & Observer, earlier this year as she unsuccessfully sought the release of police video of the raid.

“You have my kids scared. I am petrified. And you are going to tell me I could do whatever? No, no, no, ” she said. “On top of that, you are running behind my son with a gun. I could have lost him.”

Here’s more about the lawsuit from the N&O:

The lawsuit alleges unlawful entry and search, unlawful arrest and seizure, fabrication of evidence and false imprisonment.

It also alleges a failure to train and supervise officers, failure to monitor the confidential informant program and take other steps to implement policies and practices that prevent conduct that violates the constitutional right of individuals.

The plaintiffs are being represented by a mix of attorneys, including lawyers from Emancipate NC, a racial justice nonprofit.

The lawsuits and related actions have raised questions about a range of Raleigh police practices including confidential informant oversight, use of no-knock warrants — in which police don’t give a warning before entering a home — and officers proceeding with search warrants based on inaccurate and unreliable information.

On Feb. 2, The N&O requested information and statistics about the use of no-knock warrants and proper procedures when police search the wrong address.

Spokesperson Laura Hourigan responded on Feb. 7 that RPD doesn’t use no-knock search warrants but didn’t answer follow up questions submitted Feb. 8 about when and whether the policy was changed and any related statistics on how often RPD had used them.

The lawsuit contends that RPD “has general practice” of executing no-knock search warrants or quick knock search warrants in which officers enter by force seconds after knocking.

Abdullah’s snitch, Williams, is charged with five counts of obstruction of justice. It seems like Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman should bring criminal charges against Abdullah, Williams’s supervisor, too. He’s certainly costing the City of Raleigh a lot of time, money, and resources.


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Follow Editor-in-Chief Jane Porter on Twitter or send an email to jporter@indyweek.com.