“The entire system is based on this culture,” said Kimberly Muktarian of what she considers a corrupt Raleigh Police Department that fired one of its veteran officers after he allegedly used an informant and fake drugs to charge Black men with heroin trafficking.
“It took a year to fire him even though he was on a paid leave of absence on the taxpayers’ expense, it took an entire year, and it looks like there’s a bigger issue going on here,” said Muktarian.
The activist is the president of Saving Our Sons nonprofit organization and is an advocate for the North Carolina men who fell victim to the false arrest scheme orchestrated by former Raleigh Police narcotics unit Detective Omar Abdullah, which lasted from December 2019 until May 2020.
Muktarian says, “Many of the men who were targeted were also arrested and detained at the Wake County Detention Center on bonds that were as high as $250,000 and they sat there for up to six months if they did not make bail.”
Last month, 15 men were part of a successful lawsuit against Abdullah and the city of Raleigh, North Carolina and shared a $2 million dollar settlement with their attorneys for the wrongful arrests.
The sting operation involved having the informant claim he’d bought heroin from the men, upon which they’d be arrested and charged, but when the narcotics turned in as evidence was tested it in a lab it would turn out to be brown sugar.
Muktarian says many of the men targeted by Detective Abdullah did have prior criminal records but says that does not excuse his actions. Despite being awarded a monetary settlement, many of the men involved are too afraid to publicly speak out against the corruption surrounding the Raleigh Police Department.
Muktarian says more should be done to get full accountability besides just firing Abdullah. She says city leaders and the Wake County District Attorney should do more to clean up its police department.
Atlanta Black Star spoke with the assistant of Wake County, North Carolina District Attorney Lorrin Freeman requesting a formal interview, to confirm reports she does not intend to press criminal charges against Abdullah, but ABS has not heard back from Freeman’s office as of this report.
Due to the Veteran’s Day holiday, Atlanta Black Star’s interview requests were not returned from the Raleigh Police Department. We will update this story as more details emerge.