Blackface Performer Fundraising for Officers in Freddie Gray Case


Blackface Performer Fundraising for Officers in Freddie Gray Case

A former Baltimore cop who was fired in the 1980s for performing in blackface is planning to dress up in blackface as a way to raise money for officers who are charged in the killing of Freddie Gray.

Published July 22, 2015

This is peak racism at its worst. A cop who was fired from the Baltimore Police Department for performing in Blackface in the 1980s is trying to bring his act back. This time he's doing it for what he believes is a good cause — a fundraiser for the six former officers facing an upcoming trial for the arrest and killing of Freddie Gray in April. 

Bobby Berger, 67, still believes that painting his face black is an acceptable form of entertainment. Apparently there are 600 other people who are as racially insensitive as Berger, who purchased tickets at $45 a piece for the fundraiser called the "Bull Roast," the Baltimore Sun reports. The event is set to be held at a venue called Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, Md. It will also feature a line-up of other singers.

An attorney representing one of the accused officers, Sgt. Alicia White, has already spoken out against Berger's plans. "My client will not participate," said Ivan Bates, to the Sun. "We will not accept a single solitary dime from this sort of action. This is the type of racist behavior that we do not need and do not want."

But Berger wants to alleviate the officers of some of the financial woes he has faced after he was fired from the Baltimore Police Department. "Their careers in law enforcement are over. Nobody will ever hire them in law enforcement again, as they haven't hired me even though I have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and 20 years experience," he complained, according to the Sun. "I can't get hired as a $10-an-hour security guard."

After Berger was let go by the department following protests organized by the NAACP, he later rejoined in 1986 after a federal court ordered him to be rehired. He was given a desk but no badge, gun or duties.

A trial date of Oct. 13 has been set for Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., Sgt. Alicia D. White, Lt. Brian W. Rice, Officer William G. Porter, Officer Edward M. Nero and Officer Garrett E. Miller. The charges range from murder, manslaughter to assault. 

Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.

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(Photos: Baltimore Police Department via Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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