Mothers subject to wrongful Raleigh PD raid want apology, police reforms

Jamiese Price Image
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Mothers subject to wrongful Raleigh PD raid want apology, reforms
Two Raleigh mothers are suing the City of Raleigh over a wrongful invasion of their homes by Raleigh police tactical teams, saying their lives and those of their children have been

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two Raleigh mothers held a news conference Monday to discuss a lawsuit against the City of Raleigh after their houses were wrongly raided by police last year.

The event became emotional at times, with the mothers in tears saying their lives are forever changed because of this wrongful raid and the lasting effect on their children.

In the case ABC11 first brought you last February, Yolanda Irving says a Raleigh police tactical team showed up at her home with guns drawn at her and her children.

They raided her east Raleigh home for drugs and money, but the officers were at the wrong house.

The address was given by a now-fired detective who is connected to drug arrests linked to bogus heroin from a criminal informant.

"It's been three years. It's going on three years. We still have no justice. It's been very hard, it's been traumatizing," Irving said. I know for my family, my 12-year-old son doesn't want to come outside anymore. He doesn't even want to talk to the police, doesn't want to do any activities and it's all because of a no-knock, which was illegally, wrong house. We were innocent. Two moms that was just minding our own business ... they interrupted our lives."

Mothers in wrongful search discuss lawsuit against Raleigh

Now Irving and her neighbor Kenya Walton are suing the city in federal court, saying they want an apology from the City and police reforms.

"Honestly, I just feel like, my son, 19 years old, he was 16 years old then, I was robbed of, my son was robbed of, not being able to go to his senior prom, I was robbed of not being able for my son to walk across stage for his high school because his anxiety is so high," Walton said. "He barely goes out the front door."

READ MORE: Transparency concerns after split decision on RPD bodycam video release

They want policy changes on how warrants are executed within the police department. Simple things such as double-checking the address and scouting properly to make sure officers are at the right address.

They also want other forms of oversight within the police department's confidential informant program

This is what Irving said to us last year when we spoke with her.

"They didn't find anything in my home. They didn't find no money. No drugs. No nothing. I never got an apology."

The women along with their children held the news conference outside of City Hall on Monday.

Their attorneys accused Raleigh PD of knowing that the department is in the wrong but continues to drag this out, thus revictimizing their clients.

"We call on the people of Raleigh to demand that the folks that you have given your power to use it in a way that is fair and is equitable and is just," Dawn Blagrove of Emancipate NC said at the news conference Monday.

There is Increased scrutiny on police departments' specialized units across the country and here at home following the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of former Memphis police officers from their SCORPION unit.

"It's systemic racism that allows police all over the country and specifically here in Raleigh to create special units and give them so much leeway that they think and behave as they are above the law," Blagrove said.

Attorneys representing the two mothers and their children also called out the actions of two RPD units, the Selective Enforcement Unit, and the Vice unit.

"As the public, we must pay close attention, one, the clear and unconstitutional practices Raleigh police department and their dangerous tactics on no-knock and quick-knock warrants and the failure to monitor their Vice unit," an attorney said at the news conference.

Activist Kerwin Pittman added: "I can't imagine being in my home having dinner or something, and law enforcement putting my kids in handcuff on the ground and you have the wrong home. It kills trust with law enforcement immediately and now that you don't rectify your wrongs it kills trust with the community "