All three of the White Baltimore police officers who were charged but not convicted in the death of Freddie Gray were recently honored at a conservative gala in Washington, D.C.

(Left to Right) Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero were hailed as heroes at the Media Research Center’s annual black tie gala Sept. 22. (AP Photos)

Lt. Brian Rice and Officers Garrett Miller and Edward Nero were hailed as heroes at the Media Research Center’s annual black tie gala Sept. 22. The African-American officers who were indicted in connection with Gray’s death—Sgt. Alicia White, Ofc. Caesar Goodson Jr. and Ofc. William Porter—were neither honored nor present at the event. It is unknown at this time if they were invited.

“In April of last year, six Baltimore police officers were transporting Freddie Gray to jail and he died en route,” said Deneen Borelli, chief political correspondent for Conservative Review, according to a video of the event posted on the organization’s website. “Immediately someone made the accusation that Freddie Gray had been killed by the police. The accusation grew and grew – fed by the left, political agitators, and the national media – to advance the anti-police narrative. Soon there were riots in the street.”

In presenting the awards, Borelli—one of Fox News’ frequent African-American contributors—seemed to pay short shrift to Gray’s death from spinal cord injuries brought on by his unsecured ride in the back of a police truck in April of last year. Instead, she painted the cops, who remain on administrative leave pending the results of an internal police investigation, as the victims because of their indictments and trials.

“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.

This May 1, 2015, file photo provided by the Baltimore Police Department shows, top row from left, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Garrett E. Miller and Edward M. Nero, and bottom row from left, William G. Porter, Brian W. Rice and Alicia D. White, the six police officers charged with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray. Baltimore prosecutors on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, asked a judge to delay the trials of Rice, Miller and Nero, who are charged with assault, misconduct and reckless endangerment. Rice is also charged with manslaughter. (Baltimore Police Department via AP, File)

While the gala’s audience of about 800 cheered the three Baltimore officers, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis criticized their appearance at the partisan event.

“I was certainly disappointed by their appearance there, and any time a person in public safety appears for or with a group that society looks at as a fringe group, and the group is divisive and doesn’t speak to the values of Baltimore, I think that’s a problem,” Davis told Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL-TV. He added, “I look at this as an opportunity to take a look at our policy to make sure it is stringent enough that will preclude police officers from engaging in that type of off-duty activity.”

According to its website, the right-wing group’s chief mission is “to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media.” The main feature of the annual soiree is the DisHonors Awards, a roast of what the group deems the most egregious examples of “biased liberal reporting.” Recipients of this year’s dishonest awards were former and current MSNBC hosts Melissa Harris-Perry, Joy Reid and Chris Matthews.

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO