Two black police officers killed in the line of duty last year were honored yesterday by state and Baltimore officials during a ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of African-Americans in law enforcement.
About 250 people attended the ceremony at Maryland State Police headquarters in Pikesville that focused on state police Cpl. Edward M. Toatley and Baltimore Officer Kevon M. Gavin.
"They didn't die in vain," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris.
Toatley was fatally shot in October during an undercover drug sting in Washington. Gavin was killed in April when a suspect in a shooting crashed a Ford Bronco into the officer's patrol car.
State police Superintendent David B. Mitchell presented Toatley's father, Edgar Toatley, with a Maryland flag that had been draped over his son's coffin and a State Police Medal of Valor awarded posthumously to his son.
Norris gave Gavin's widow, Lisa, a wooden, glass-faced box with the officer's badge and Baltimore police patch inside.
Yesterday's "Black History Month Celebration" also had a deeper meaning for participants.
Toatley was the president of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers and was master of ceremonies of past celebrations.
"The pain continues," Mitchell said. "This is not only a celebration, but a recognition of sacrifice."