Shocked, awed: Pregnant Sacramento woman describes police raid of wrong home

Internal investigation launched into another controversial incident involving unarmed African American residents

This is an extended version of a story that ran August 3, 2017.

Zityrua Abraham said she was sitting outside her home with family on July 9 when her mother’s boyfriend went to get a glass of water. Several police officers immediately stormed after him, according to the nearly eight-months-pregnant mother. When Abraham tried to warn them about her sleeping infant son, she said an officer grabbed her arm and threw her to the ground, where she landed on her stomach.

“Then, they started kicking down my door,” Abraham said at a press conference hosted by Black Lives Matter Sacramento on July 27. “They grabbed my mom’s boyfriend with guns still [drawn] and still took the time to search my home. … Next thing I know, I hear my son and he’s screaming. He’s traumatized.”

Abraham said that, soon after, an officer would yell “wrong house” and that the search party left her apartment on Lampasas Avenue without offering her an apology or their information.

Although limited in his ability to discuss an incident under internal investigation, police department spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said the officers had been in “fresh pursuit” of a suspected automobile thief who they believed had entered Abraham’s apartment.

Officers had the right to enter Abraham’s apartment because they had “reasonable suspicion to detain the individual,” who “was not compliant with a lawful order,” Heinlein said. He added that, although he didn’t know the “specifics” of how officers treated Abraham, he said that the proper way to handle the situation “totally depends on the circumstances” and that Abraham was “preventing” officers from getting through her front door.

The department’s Internal Affairs Division will review video footage of the incident, which it may release at a later date.

“There’s this misconception about internal affairs investigations that the officers did something wrong,” Heinlein said. “Not saying that nothing was out of ordinary on this, but … we don’t want this to be tried in the public view. It needs to go through the process that is in place to protect not only the individual that’s making the claim, but also the employees that are involved.”

At the press conference, Abraham said she had been to a doctor to check on the status of her unborn son. “He’s good,” she said. “But I’m stressed on the fact that I don’t know until I’m actually gonna have him.”