Photo credit: Cornell Watson for Rolling Stone
The recent investigative report by Rolling Stone about the Raleigh Police Department and former detective Omar Abdullah reveals three things: (1) the depths of corruption at RPD, (2) its harms, and (3) what happens when you fight it.
(1) Detective Abdullah’s “reign of terror” shows police misconduct is not the result of “a few bad apples.” The article references Ian Mance’s deposition of Abdullah’s supervising sergeant:
In his deposition, Rolfe said he routinely broke with written RPD oversight policies for supervisors because that was the norm. “It was just status quo,” he said in a deposition. “[T]here was nobody around saying, ‘This is OK, that’s OK.’ You just do it. You’ve learned to do from your predecessors.”
Other officers working with Abdullah would make bets about whether his crooked informant would produce fake evidence again or not. And scarcely a month before RPD finally fired Abdullah, Wake County District Attorney Lorin Freeman said, “We do not have evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Officer Abdullah or others with the Raleigh Police Department.”
(2) Emancipate NC has been working with law firm Tin Fulton Walker and Owen to represent two families whose homes were wrongfully invaded by Raleigh PD — armed in riot gear with rifles — as they executed an incorrect search warrant prepared by Detective Abdullah. We are seeking money damages for the families and an end to no-knock and quick-knock warrant executions for all of Raleigh. (So far, we have won the ban on quick-knock warrants.) But these two families are just a couple of the nearly two dozen — all of them Black — that suffered broken relationships, family separation, lost jobs, and more thanks to Abdullah’s corrupt behavior. And these are just the ones we know of.
(3) As the article illustrates, there are many people who gave up in their quest for justice against RPD. Going up against the state takes time, money, and will — things many families don’t have to spare. Some of these people have come forward again as news of restitution spreads. Because as this article also shows: even though the police state is going to fight us every step of the way, we CAN fight for justice and win.