/  11.03.2021

A Raleigh, North Carolina detective has been fired for allegedly framing a group of 15 Black men by planting heroin on them before they were arrested.

According to ABC 11, the Raleigh Police Department said Officer Omar Abdullah was terminated on Oct. 28. The attorneys who represent the Black men said their clients were wrongfully arrested for heroin trafficking. “I think for advocates, we’ve always wanted this,” police reform advocate Kimberly Muktarian told the outlet. “This is something we dreamt of. So for them, I still believe that — this is not a reality that they commonly see.”

Last year, Abdullah reportedly paid a secret informant who agreed to tip-off officers to Raleigh heroin dealers. Instead, the district attorney said the person gave them audio recordings and videos of drug buys with important clips missing. A lab later revealed that the substance wasn’t drugs at all.

The fake heroin was planted by Abdullah and other officers reportedly knew about his crimes. He was initially placed on leave by the department last year and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman decided not to prosecute him.

Robin Mills’ son, Marcus Van Irvin, was arrested by Abdullah for counterfeit heroin and originally put in jail on a $450,000 bond. She is upset that more officers have not been held accountable for what happened to her son.

“They did what they needed to do from a civil perspective. But now we’re talking about criminal,” Mills said. “And there’s no way the kidnapping of over a dozen Black men is not criminal.”

In September, the group of Black men reached a $2 million settlement with the City of Raleigh as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit. Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, the law firm that represented 12 of the men, said it appreciated “the City of Raleigh’s recognition of the trauma and suffering caused by these wrongful arrests and incarcerations.”


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