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Victim of police brutality says officer's 14-month prison sentence is not adequate

Jeremy Gibson and Chase Winkle convicted of assaulting Manny Montero
Emanuel Montero
Posted at 9:02 AM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-01 09:15:50-04

MUNCIE — A Muncie man assaulted by police officers says he can never forgive them and feels only one of their sentences is adequate.

Manny Montero was badly injured and nearly lost his eye as a result of the 2018 assault which followed a traffic stop.

“The damage they have caused me and my family can't be fixed,” Montero said. “I can never forgive their actions.”

Emanuel Montero
This photo shows Emanuel “Manny” Montero's face after he was arrested for resisting law enforcement and improper headlights.

Former Muncie police officer Jeremy Gibson and Chase Winkle were sentenced Wednesday to time in federal prison for using excessive force on Montero and writing a false report to cover it up—Gibson received 14 months and Winkle received 10 years.

The judge allowed Gibson to self-report to federal prison in January 2024 so that he can attend the birth of his fourth child, while Winkle was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

“I'm happy with the ten year sentence Winkle was given,” said Montero. “I just wish that Jeremy Gibson would have been giving a sentence of ten or more years. Mr. Gibson is a horrible person.”

On Wednesday, the judge took into account the fact that Gibson was a rookie police officer at the time of the offense.

Gibson's attorney said had never been accused of misconduct and had never used his Taser, baton or gun.

His attorney told the court Gibson "is and always has been a good man."

Gibson pleaded guilty in March 2022 and agreed to testify against his fellow officers—a decision that likely prompted others, like Winkle, to also plead guilty.

Although both officers told the court they regretted their actions, Montero said neither have apologized directly to him.

Montero did not attend the sentencing.

“Although Mr. Gibson apologized to the court, he has not apologized to me or my family,” said Montero. “I would not however accept it I feel like the only thing he is sorry for is that he was caught. Winkle has not apologized to me either. I would not consider accepting an apology from any of the officers.”

Montero said he is grateful the public was made aware of what Gibson and Winkle did to him.

“Everybody thought I was exaggerating or saying, ‘you had to do something for that to happen',” said Montero. “I appreciate you getting my story out there.”

The court ordered Gibson to pay Montero restitution, although the amount has not yet been determined.

“No amount of money can fix what we have lost,” said Montero. “I’m just glad to have some kind of closure. And I am ready to move on and close this chapter of my life.”