Right-wing gala honors officers charged in Freddie Gray's death with standing ovation
The Baltimore police officers who escaped conviction related to the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray received a hero's welcome last week at an annual gala of the ring-wing media watchdog, Media Research Center. Organizers of the event, which calls out liberal media by bestowing outlets and journalists with so-called "dishonor" awards, singled out how police brutality has been covered in the U.S.
During the private soirée on Sept. 22, the six officers charged in the arrest that led to the black man's death were saluted as victim-survivors of attacks by the "left, political agitators and the national media" hellbent on advancing an "anti-police narrative," as Fox News contributor and gala speaker Deneen Borelli put it.
"Immediately someone made the accusation that Freddie Gray had been killed by the police," Borelli said at the event, according to the New York Daily News. "The accusation grew and grew ... [and soon] there were riots in the street," the pundit added.
Borelli, who is black, seemed to gloss over the fact that the Baltimore Police Department officers — Caesar Goodson Jr., Garrett Miller, Edward Nero, William Porter, Brian Rice and Alicia White — had been accused of negligence for leaving Gray handcuffed and unbuckled in a police van, where the autopsy report showed he likely sustained fatal neck and spine injuries on April 12, 2015. A medical examiner later ruled his death a homicide.
More than a year later, after three bench trial acquittals and a mistrial by jury, the Baltimore state's attorney dropped the case altogether in July. Marilyn Mosby, the state's prosecutor, accused police officers of interfering with her office's investigation.
Again, the only victims Borelli focused on were the accused officers. "These five men and one woman, all veteran police officers, were now in handcuffs, fighting for their lives, their careers destroyed, bankrupted, humiliated," she said, according to the Daily News.
"No one apologized for ruining their lives," she continued. "No one thanked them for their service or recognized their honor. Who will thank these officers? Who will thank all police officers, at a time they are being so vilified? Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we will."
On Borelli's cue, gala attendees gave a rousing standing ovation to Rice, Nero and Miller, who attended the event. The officers of color who were charged in the case — Goodson, Porter and White — did not appear on stage with Borelli.
Miller spoke on behalf of his colleagues, saying, "Our profession is hurting. Nobody wants to be a police officer anymore."
Based on the description of conduct exhibited by the officers who encountered Gray last year, it perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise if potential cadets consider other career paths.