Fox News’ Megyn Kelly protected the identity of a guest claiming to be a Baltimore police officer who then smeared 25-year-old Freddie Gray — the unarmed black man whose death touched off the latest round of protests regarding police use of force — by painting him as a “snitch” for the department.
The guest also said he “guessed” that Gray was taken in for dealing drugs, even though police officially issued him a summons for possessing a switchblade — which turned out to be a knife that Gray was allowed to carry under state law.
“Freddie was one of those ones where a lot of times, he would put on that show in the streets, but you would bring him into the station and he was a great witness,” the officer said. “I mean, he helped the department solve many crimes and different acts of violence. So it wasn’t uncommon for Freddie to do that type of thing and then go into the station.”
Kelly said the officer, who went by the pseudonym “Mike,” had asked for his identity to be concealed out of concern for his safety. But instead of challenging the officer for his uncorroborated claims just hours after six of his fellow officers were indicted in connection with Gray’s death, she responded, “That’s interesting. That’s new information I had not yet heard.”
Kelly also alluded to a leaked medical examiner’s report saying that Gray injured himself while in the van after being stopped on April 12, pointing to footage of him standing and “apparently stepping into that van” as proof he was not injured outside. She did not mention reporting by the Baltimore Sun and WBAL-TV contradicting that claim.
Mike said the officers involved were responding to Gray’s “unprovoked flight” when they took him in.
“He could have had drugs,” he said. “And it’s not an uncommon thing that when, you know, that the people that are running, if the dealers that are running if they can’t find them, we can’t charge them just because they ran. They have to have some sort of crime.”
“What was he being charged with here?” Kelly asked.
The officer responded that Gray was charged with alleged possession of a switchblade, which was confirmed in an MSNBC report. Neither Kelly nor Mike mentioned that, according to Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Gray was actually carrying a “folded in” knife, which is legal in Maryland.
“My personal guess to this — and this is just me speculating — is that he was distributing narcotics in that alley,” he said, not mentioning that Gray was never cited for anything drug-related.
Mosby announced on Friday that she would pursue charges ranging from assault to second-degree murder against the six officers involved.
Watch footage from the interview, as posted online on Friday, below.