Airen Washington, Director of Communications
National Bankers Association (NBA)
Statement from the National Bankers Association on Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank:
Today, National Bankers Association (NBA) President & CEO Nicole Elam Esq. and Chairman Robert James II released the following statement regarding Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank.
“In light of recent industry events, the National Bankers Association wants to assure consumers that your money is safe with minority banks. Minority depository institutions are very different from both SVB and Signature Bank which had high concentrations in crypto deposits and volatile venture capital. Minority banks are not exposed to riskier asset classes and have the capital and strong liquidity to best serve consumers and small businesses. If you’re looking for a place to bring your deposits and have greater impact, bring your deposits to minority banks” said Nicole Elam, President and CEO of the National Bankers Association.
“The Biden-Harris Administration, FDIC, and Federal Reserve worked hard this weekend to make sure that these bank failures are the exception, not the rule, and that all Americans can continue to have confidence in our banking system. I also applaud bipartisan leaders in Congress for keeping stakeholders informed about how hard earned deposits are being kept safe.” said Robert James, II, Chairman of the National Bankers Association, President & CEO, Carver Financial Corporation
The National Bankers Association is the nation’s leading trade association for the country’s minority depository institutions (MDIs). MDIs have always focused on safety and soundness as a part of our conservative, relationship based business model. We continue to monitor SVB’s impact on large corporate deposit concentrations, fintech, tech companies, and larger financial institutions that have partnerships with MDIs or who have made investments in MDIs.
MDIs are in the strongest position ever to support their customers and here’s why:
• Traditional Banking Model with Diverse & Secure Assets: MDIs are diversified in terms of their assets, predominately focused on well-collateralized loans, and are not exposed to riskier asset classes. Unlike both SVB and Signature Bank, MDIs have very limited exposure to the venture capital industry and crypto.
• Well-Capitalized and Strong Liquidity: MDIs are in the strongest position ever. The sector is exceptionally well capitalized, enjoys substantial liquidity overall, and has grown by 33% over the last three years in total assets. Nearly $4 billion in new, permanent capital has flowed to MDIs and currently, the median MDI common equity ratio is 16.4% versus 14.8% for non-MDIs.
• Positioned for Impact: 77% of MDI branches are in areas with a higher average share of minorities compared to 31% for all FDIC-insured depository institutions. According to a Dallas Fed Study in 2022, MDIs originate almost 40% of their mortgages to minority borrowers, versus only 10% by other banks. Additionally, MDIs originate 30% of small business loans to low- to moderate-income communities in comparison to 20% at community banks and 24% at large banks. Customer deposits are not only extremely safe in an MDI but are far more likely to have a positive impact in the community.
Contact: Black Birdseye View email@example.com
TITLE: Using Fake Evidence, 8 Raleigh Police Department Officers Framed, Kidnapped, and Charged 15+ Black Men with Trafficking and Selling Heroin.
Only one of 8 Raleigh Police Department Officers listed in the dismissed lawsuit (2 Million dollar settlement) against the city of Raleigh, NC, for falsely arresting and charging 15+ Black men with trafficking heroin was fired. Why are the other 7 officers still employed and why aren't they all being charged?
Omar Abdullah (a Black man), an agent of the city of Raleigh, NC, had been an employee of the Raleigh Police Department since 2009. Abdullah was placed on administrative duty on August 26, 2020, and administrative leave a week later and was terminated on October 28, 2021, for his part in using fake evidence to falsely arrest and charge 15+ Black men with trafficking heroin.
Authorities said that:
"Between December 2019 and May 2020, Williams used fake evidence obtained by RPD paid confidential informant, Dennis Leon Williams Jr. that led to 15 Black men being arrested and jailed on drug trafficking charges."
Raleigh Police Department officers threatened these Black men with facing a minimum of 7 and a half years in prison. Their bonds were as high as $400,000.
Email correspondence from District Attorney Lorrin Freeman on September 22, 2020, states:
"Several months ago, our office first received information that a confidential informant might be providing false information to a Raleigh Police Detective, Omar Abdullah, that resulted in charges against approximately a dozen defendants for trafficking heroin. As lab results returned showing no controlled substances, we moved to unsecured bonds and dismissed cases associated with this informant. At this time, we have asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the matter. Currently, there is no evidence that Detective Abdullah knew he was being provided fraudulent information. Nevertheless, this matter is of significant concern and will receive a thorough review by our office for a determination as to whether charges are appropriate against anyone involved."
The pending lawsuit against Raleigh, NC, for its part in the wrongful arrests and charging of 15+ Black men with selling heroin was dismissed after 12 hours of mediation. On September 30, 2021, Attorneys Rubert-Schewel, Emily Gladden, and Michael Littlejohn, Jr. issued a press release announcing a $2,000,000 monetary settlement (Washington et al. v. The City of Raleigh, et al., 21-CV-00194 (EDNC.)
From a CIVIL PERSPECTIVE, the settlement appears to be a win. The monetary settlement is the least the City of Raleigh could do considering, that according to a letter from Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, written to Raleigh Police Department Chief, Estella Patterson and Wake County District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman:
"Many of the 15 Black men lost their jobs, missed birthdays and funerals, others had their homes and children investigated by Child Protective Services, and others were unable to continue to pay their bills and were forced to move during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plaintiffs served a combined approximately 2.5 years in jail before the charges against each of them were dismissed,"
From a CRIMINAL PERSPECTIVE, the 27-year-old Black Confidential Informant (Aspirin aka Dennis Leon Williams Jr) was indicted in August on five counts of obstruction of justice, including making false statements and producing fake drug evidence. He remains in the Wake County jail. Charges have not been filed against the 8 RPD Officers involved.
RPD Officer involved:
Lieutenant JENNINGS BUNCH
Sergeant WILLIAM ROLFE
Officer RISHAR PIERRE MONROE
Officer JULIEN DAVID RATTELADE
Officer MEGHAN CAROLINE GAY
Officer DAVID CHADWICK NANCE
Officer JASON GWINN
OMAR ABDULLAH (Terminated)
Via email to the Black Birds Eye View News and Opinion Blog, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has stated that:
At this time, she can see how the Raleigh Police Department made mistakes. Still, she can see no criminal intent related to the kidnapping and framing of over 15 Black men.
How can that be true when, in 2018, Raleigh Police Department officers arrested Dennis Leon Williams Jr (the CI) for selling drugs? RPD would later discover that the substance sold to them was aspirin presented as cocaine. In 2018 Dennis Leon Williams, Jr was charged with selling fake drugs. After Williams's arrest, Officers Nance and Abdullah recruited Williams as a CI for the RPD Vice Squad. (RPD Officers Nance and Abdullah nicknamed William’s "Aspirin" because Williams sold RPD aspirin as cocaine.) On August 16, 2019, Raleigh Police Department approved Williams as a Confidential Informant. Williams was re-arrested for an unrelated crime. After Williams was released, RPD Officers Nance and Abdullah re-recruited Williams.
Fast forward to the present day:
RPD Officers Nance and Abdullah are named in the dismissed lawsuit against Raleigh, NC for using fake drugs to charge 15+ Black men with selling heroin. Dennis Leon Williams, Jr (Aspirin) is the CI at the center of the investigation into the 15+ Black men falsely charged with selling heroin that turned out to be brown sugar presented heroin.
After seven months of watching the 15+ Black men be falsely arrested and detained, RPD Officer Monroe reported the ongoing scheme to Sergeant Rolfe and Lieutenant Bunch, his superior officers. Neither supervisor intervened to stop the false arrests and prosecutions.
RPD Officers Rolfe, Monroe, Rattelade, Gay, Nance, Gwinn, Abdullah, and Bunch were aware of the scheme and failed to prevent the false arrests and wrongful incarceration of the 15+ Black men.
RPD Officers Nance, Monroe, Rattelade, Abdullah, and Gay were all aware that the alleged drug was not heroin but brown sugar.
Faced with negative field test results, RPD. Officers still charged 15+ Black men with selling heroin.
Even with the aforementioned on record, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman stated that:
“Her office did not believe that RPD knew Dennis Leon Williams Jr (the CI known as Aspirin) could present fake evidence related to the wrongful arrests and prosecutions of 15+ Black men in Wake County.”
Wake County District Attorney insists that: “there is insufficient evidence of criminal intent by RPD. In response to a local news outlet, Freeman said there will be no charges "at this time," but that "the matter remains open with our office."
The lack of outrage regarding these cases is disheartening. Since the citizens of Raleigh NC are not demanding justice, it is necessary to reach outside of our backyard and ask others to stand with those who demand justice.
What this all boils down to is a straightforward question:
How many more Black people are being held on false charges?
All drug cases involving any of the Officers named in the dismissed lawsuit must be dismissed and records expunged. These cases and all cases like these cases must go before a jury, and a jury must decide if there is criminal intent or not. Leaving the decision up to one person is ludicrous.