Son of ‘Rooftop Pastor’ had illegal mushrooms, passenger had loaded gun during South Loop traffic stop, prosecutors say

The son of a prominent Chicago pastor was carrying illegal mushrooms, and his backseat passenger had a gun during a traffic stop in the South Loop on Thursday night, officials said.

Corey Brooks II, the 21-year-old son of “Rooftop Pastor” Corey Brooks, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. The other man, Damarius Langston, 21, is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon.

Chicago police pulled Brooks over for a traffic violation in the 1200 block of South Indiana around 11:55 p.m.  Officers smelled “a strong odor of burnt cannabis” and asked Brooks for his license and insurance information, Assistant State’s Attorney Rhianna Biernat said during a Friday afternoon bail hearing for the men.

Left to right: Corey Brooks II; Rev. Corey Brooks; and Damarius Langston | Chicago Police Department; Twitter

When Brooks could not produce the documents, the cops asked him and his front passenger to exit the vehicle. Biernat said that an open bottle of alcohol fell from the passenger seat and that police saw Langston try to hide something in the back seat.

Langston was told by the police to keep his hands out in the open, but Biernat said he kept trying to hide something in a pouch on the back of the driver’s seat. She said that after Langston was taken out of the car, officers found a loaded 40-caliber handgun in the seat pocket.

Brooks had 4.5 grams of suspected illegal mushrooms in his sweatshirt pocket. Biernat said they have a street value of $20. Prosecutors may offer Brooks an opportunity to participate in a deferred drug prosecution program, according to Biernat.

“My family and I love and support our son, who was home from college for Thanksgiving break,” Rev. Brooks said in a statement Friday evening. “We regret the incident and take it very seriously. We expect that our son will be treated fairly and in accordance with the law.”

He did not offer a response when asked if the vehicle involved in the incident was registered to his church.

Rev. Brooks hired defense attorney James McKay to represent both men, according to McKay. Neither has a criminal record.

McKay said that the younger Brooks lives with his father and is a full-time student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. When Brooks is not at school, he lives with his father and works at the pastor’s Project H.O.O.D.

Langston lives with Brooks, too, and volunteers at Project Hood’s summer camp, McKay said. 

Judge Charles Beach released Brooks on his own recognizance. Langston must pay a $500 deposit toward bail to be released before trial, the judge said.

Rev. Brooks earned the moniker “Rooftop Pastor” after vowing to live on top of a stack of shipping containers until he raised $35 million to construct a community center in the Woodlawn neighborhood. As of August, he had raised $18 million, enough to start demolition for the project, ABC7 reported. He left the rooftop in October so construction could begin.

On October 10, the pastor invited parents with children needing discipline to “send me your boys.” His invite, posted on Twitter, showed two boys on their knees next to a toilet.

“One charged his mothers credit card for $100 for a video game without permission, the other bad grades in school,” Brooks tweeted. “Today I made them Scrub floors with a toothbrush. I have permission from parents to show this picture.”

The tweet has earned 635 likes and 89 retweets.

On Saturday, Brooks’ organization will distribute food to “feed 5000 families,” he said in a tweet accompanied by pictures of pallets of food.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is