‘Black while working’ | FedEx driver, attorneys demand justice after Jan. 24 shooting
BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (WLBT) - A Black FedEx driver who was fired upon by a white man after making a delivery in Brookhaven is seeking justice after the men allegedly involved in the shooting were given a week to turn themselves in and given bond on conspiracy and aggravated assault charges.
Thursday, D’Monterrio Gibson and his attorneys spoke to the media about the incident, weeks after he says he was shot at and then chased while making deliveries on his route.
Attorney Carlos Moore is calling on the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take over the investigation. Meanwhile, he says the suspects involved in the case should be charged with attempted murder.
“Why did this occur? This man was in his FedEx uniform. He had delivered a package somebody from the Case family had ordered and got back into the truck. They chased him, both Cases, to the interstate in Brookhaven. This man came within an inch of losing his life. Several packages that received bullets were right behind him in the vehicle,” Moore said.
Moore was referring to Brandon Case and Gregory Case, the father and son allegedly involved in the matter. Moore said after Gibson made a delivery, Gregory Case attempted to follow his client as he pulled out of the driveway. Brandon Case, Gregory’s son, was then standing in the middle of the road a few houses down, waving a gun at Gibson and telling him to stop.
“He knew better, at 24 years of age, to stop for a random man with a gun that was not the police,” Moore said.
Brandon Case is being charged with aggravated assault shooting into an occupied vehicle, while Gregory Case is charged with conspiracy.
Moore, though, said the two should be charged with attempted murder and should have each been given $500,000 bonds.
“(Yet) the Cases were not arrested immediately. He notified the police that same night and they were not arrested,” he added. “If it had been a Black father and son duo that shot at a white young man doing his job, do you think they would have allowed them a week to rest comfortably before turning themselves in?”
“He was simply Black while working. That is not a crime in Mississippi.”
Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins says the Cases were charged based on the evidence they had.
“We charged the Cases with the evidence that we had, and it’s a real good case,” Collins said. “We did our job, now the FBI has picked up the case. They come down this morning and got the case file and they’re going to investigate it on the federal hate crime side, because only a federal agency can do that. We are just local, we can’t bring that charge. "
For his part, Gibson said the police department did not take him seriously when he reported the crime.
He initially attempted to fire a report the night of the shooting but had to go back the next morning with his FedEx supervisor.
He said the officer taking his statement had to take it three or four times because he kept trying to change Gibson’s story.
Another officer took Gibson to the crime scene and invited him to get out of the car and help him look for bullet fragments.
“They came up to me and said, ‘you see that we’re trying, right?’ Why would come up and tell me you’re trying?” Gibson asked.
Gibson said no bullet fragments were found, and when one of the suspects was interviewed he denied everything.
“Luckily there was a bullet fragment when I went to the station the first time,” Gibson said.
Moore said he has spoken to the Lincoln County District Attorney about increasing the charges. He also said that he’s calling on the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to take over the case, saying the Brookhaven Police Department should recuse itself.
“They’re too close to the kitchen. They need to get out and let an independent agency investigate this case and present it fully to the DA,” he said.
Moore believes that the suspects are related to Chris Case, the department’s assistant chief.
According to Collins, Case was never involved in the investigation and he was informed by Case that he is not related to the father and son.
“There’s no relation. We’ve gone down the whole family tree to make sure that we were truthful. My Assistant chief Case is kin to a totally different set of Cases,” Collins said.
Moore again reiterated that they want Gibson’s case to be investigated as a federal hate crime, and said that he had spoken to the Department of Justice, which is now looking into the case.
“They clearly could see when he stepped out of the van that he was a Black man. And they chased this Black man that was in a white neighborhood because allegedly he was suspicious, while he was doing his job with a clear FedEx uniform on. If that’s not racially motivated, I don’t know what is.”
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