Jermaine "Jay" Anthony Gibson was born Aug. 3, 1982 in New Orleans, and was born to be in law enforcement, friends and co-workers said during funeral services for Gibson Friday in Indian Wells.
"Being a police officer was what Jermaine was born to do," Cathedral City police Officer Brian Barkley told an audience of about 2,000 that included his wife Jessica, his son, Jermaine Jr., his brother Taurean, his mother Cheryl, and other family, friends, police and firefighters.
"He dedicated himself to work everyday, putting handcuffs on criminals," Barkley said. "Jermaine had a natural knack that few officers have for finding the action and putting criminals behind bars.
"On March 18, 2011, Jermaine was doing what he did best. He attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle, which then failed to yield. Doing what Jermaine was sworn to do, what he took an oath to do, he went in pursuit of the vehicle,” stated Barkley.
He continued: "Jermaine was determined to do what all of us in uniform that wear a badge took an oath to do: catch the bad guy."
Gibson was also a gifted cook, who loved fishing and the New Orleans Saints, and he knew how to bring coworkers together during time off, Barkley said.
"Jermaine loved to barbecue, and was an excellent cook, probably due to his roots in New Orleans," Barkley said. "Jay's brother Taurean told me a story about when Jermaine got a black eye as a child.
"Mrs. Gibson, Cheryl, gave Jermaine a frozen piece of meat for the swelling on his eye. She came back a few minutes later, and lo and behold, there he was seasoning that same piece of meat and frying it on the barbecue.
"Between creole seasoning and Louisiana hot sauce, Jermaine could make anything taste good. His knack for barbecuing often times brought coworkers from Cathedral City together, to laugh and forget about the stresses of our jobs. Jay was good at that."
Gibson loved his wife Jessica and their newborn son, Jermaine Jr., Cathedral City police Chief Kevin Conner said.
"He often told me how blessed he was to have Jessica in his life," Conner said Friday in Indian Wells.
Conner also said Gibson seemed born with characteristics that made him a leader.
"Whether it was his service to country in the Marine Corps, or as a law enforcement professional, it's undeniable Jermaine was born with valor, bravery and service, and this was evident as he displayed that gift during his final test, last Friday evening."
Gibson, 28, of Beaumont, was killed one week ago today in a pursuit crash in Palm Springs. The two men he was chasing also crashed and they remained hospitalized this week, Palm Springs police said.
Funeral services for Gibson were held at Southwest Community Church in Indian Wells.
The funeral procession left Indian Wells with several hundred people lined up along Washington Street near Interstate 10, and fire truck crews parked on several overpasses to pay their respects.
Beaumont police waited for the procession on the Beaumont Avenue overpass as hundreds of mourners drove to Riverside National Cemetery, where Gibson was laid to rest Friday afternoon.
Gibson served two tours in the Iraq War with the U.S. Marine Corps, earned a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat, and was honorably discharged as an infantry squad leader.
He was married in the past year and he was father of a month-old son.
Gibson is survived by his wife, Jessica, and month-old son, Jermaine Anthony Gibson Jr., both of Beaumont, his mother, Cheryl Gibson of Vallejo, and his brother, Taurean R. Gibson of Vallejo.
A memorial fund has been established to assist Gibson's family, by the Cathedral City Police Officers Association. Inquiries and donations may be directed to CCPOA President Albert Holloway at (951) 906-4552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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