Megan Thee Stallion set to testify Tuesday on alleged shooting in Tory Lanez trial

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Supporters of Megan Thee Stallion are set to rally outside a courtroom in Los Angeles on Tuesday as the Grammy-winning hip-hop star prepares to testify in the trial of rapper Tory Lanez, who is accused of shooting Megan in the foot on July 12, 2020.

The Gathering for Justice, a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by singer Harry Belafonte, is joining forces with women's advocacy groups and violence prevention organizations, including the Southern Black Girls and Women's Consortium, 2nd Call, Homies Unidos, Take Charge, Inc., COMMUNITYx, Inc. and TimeDon to voice their support for the "Savage" hitmaker as she is expected to recount the events that led to the alleged shooting.

A source confirmed to ABC News that Megan, whose legal name is Megan Pete, is expected to testify on Tuesday.

"As an organization that values dignity, justice and liberation, we -- along with many organizations -- are gathering [Tuesday] to show our solidarity for Meg and support her with our love," said Carmen Perez-Jordan, president and CEO of The Gathering for Justice, in a statement. "We are committed to spreading the message that violence is not the answer. We know the time is now to advocate for victims of violence, particularly violence against Black women."

Jury selection in the trial of Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, took place last week and opening statements and testimony are set to begin on Monday.

According to prosecutors, Lanez "personally inflicted great bodily injury" upon Megan Thee Stallion after the two got into an argument while riding in an SUV in the Hollywood Hills, resulting in an injury to her foot for which she received medical treatment.

Lanez, a popular rapper, was initially charged in October 2020 with one felony count each of assault with a semi-automatic firearm (personal use of a firearm) and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, according to charging documents obtained by ABC News. "Personal use of a firearm" is not a separate charge but a sentencing enhancement linked to the first count that increases Lanez's possible sentence.

Lanez was charged last week with an additional felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed to ABC News.

Lanez pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

"We are confident that at the conclusion of this trial the truth will come out and Mr. Peterson will be exonerated of all charges," Lanez's attorney, Sarkis Manukyan, told ABC News Tuesday.

If he is convicted as charged, he faces up to 22 years and 8 months in prison, according to prosecutors.

This case has sparked intense debate over society's treatment of women and Megan's account of the incident -- and the intense public vitriol she faced after sharing her story -- has spotlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses the two-front battle of sexism and racism that Black women experience in their own communities and in society at large.

Megan, who has used her platform to spotlight the stories of Black women, has become one of the most visible voices in the movement.

"It's ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase 'Protect Black Women' is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings," she wrote in a New York Times op-ed published on Oct. 13, 2020.

"We are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer," she added.

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