Victims in drug scheme react to former RPD detective guilty plea, sentence

Akilah Davis Image
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Former RPD detective pleads guilty in drug scheme case
A former Raleigh police detective will serve 38 days in a Chatham County jail and two years of supervised probation.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Former Raleigh Police Department Detective Omar Abdullah was accused of framing more than a dozen young Black men in a fake heroin scheme.

The 47-year-old is being charged with obstruction of justice and will serve 38 days in a Chatham County jail and serve two years of supervised probation.

Abdullah, who had been working for the department for 13 years, was fired from RPD in 2021 after the city reached a $2 million settlement with a group of men who said they were wrongfully arrested for trafficking heroin.

A federal lawsuit filed by people Abdullah had arrested accused the detective of conspiring with a confidential informant to send more than a dozen Black men to jail and prison in a fake heroin scheme.

Omar Abdullah was fired from the police department in October 2021.

The lawsuit included individuals who faced heroin charges and in one case a marijuana charge, for substances provided by a police informant that turned out to be fake. Almost a dozen men spent two and a half years collectively in prison before their charges were dismissed, according to the lawsuit.

Advocates and victims said the sentence is not enough for the crime committed.

RELATED: City of Raleigh settles lawsuit in alleged drug scheme of former detective

"The Raleigh Police Department goes unchecked and is held unaccountable for the harms it causes Black and brown communities. For that, the city ought to be ashamed and Lorrin Freeman should be ashamed of herself," said Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

"It's the institution of policing that needs to be addressed," activist Kerwin Pittman said. "It's the culture of policing that needs to be addressed and changed. Clearly, Abdullah is of color. The victims are of color. Yet, these acts were done."

ABC11 spoke with Yolanda Irving who said her East Raleigh home was wrongfully raided for drugs and money by Abdullah and other detectives.

"You have put all of us through traumatic stuff and you're getting 38 days for this? You're not getting years. Just 38 days. So you can just terrorize everyone. It's giving everyone a pass that Black men don't matter," Irving said. "If his kids were in that same position then I think he would want the cop that did it to be longer than 38 days. It's not fair,"

In addition to Abdullah's sentencing, court documents say he will also be required to pay a $1,800 fine.