Fox guest: Baltimore residents too "emotional" to sit on jury for officers charged in Freddie Gray's death

Sheriff David Clarke also told Megyn Kelly that the 6 officers are "political prisoners" of "weaponized" DA office


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 11, 2015 6:14PM (UTC)

On "The Kelly File" Thursday evening, Megyn Kelly discussed the upcoming trials of the six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Fox News' go-to interviewee for all racially inflected police brutality stories.

Kelly began by noting that Circuit Judge Barry Williams ruled on Thursday that lawyers for the six officers hadn't established that they'd be unable to receive a fair trial in Baltimore City, "despite days of rioting, protesting, and a week-long curfew in the wake of Freddie Gray's death." She asked Clarke what he thought law enforcement would make of that and whether he believed these officers could receive a fair trial, and he replied with...words.

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"They're watching this closely," he said, "because a powerful institution in the government, the prosecutor's office, has been weaponized to go after political adversaries and go after judicial, I'm sorry, political activism."

Kelly was perplexed by the sheriff's canned answer, so she repeated her question more slowly. "Do you believe these cops can receive a fair trial in this city?" she asked, to which he replied in the negative.

"No," he said, "and the judge and everybody else would have to suspend their sense of disbelief to think that they can." The voir dire -- the process by which jurors are selected -- "is going to be particularly important for the defense," Clarke continued, because it will be difficult "to find people who can detach emotionally not only from what has gone on since the riots, but what might happen afterwards."

He went on to argue that while there are "probably some people" in Baltimore City who could decide the officers' fates "based on guilt or innocence, based on the facts and testimony instead of emotion," but that those people aren't going to want to sit on this jury.

Kelly speculated that "many of the same people who participated in those riots may end up trying" these officers, to which the sheriff replied that they are "political prisoners" in the custody of an "activist prosecutor," but that the judge's decision to keep the trials in Baltimore City creates a solid case for later appeals.

Watch the interview below via Fox News.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Baltimore Freddie Gray Megyn Kelly Sheriff David Clarke The Kelly File Video

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