Black FedEx driver shot at by white men draws parallels to Ahmaud Arbery case

A Black FedEx driver who was allegedly shot at by a white father and son in Mississippi while delivering packages said he “can definitely see the similarities” between his case and that of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was murdered in 2020 by three white men while jogging in Georgia.

“Because Ahmaud Arbery didn’t survive to speak up for himself, so I want to take that upon myself to do that for me and him as well,” said D’Monterrio Gibson, 24, in an interview with CNN on Friday.

The father and son, Brandon and Gregory Case, were reportedly arrested and charged this week over the incident. According to Gibson, he was delivering packages on an evening route in Brookhaven, Mississippi, on 24 January when the two men allegedly chased him in a truck for several minutes and fired at least five shots towards his van.

“They came out of nowhere,” he said at a news conference on Thursday. “Even if [the van] was unmarked, civilians still can’t take the law into their own hands … I’m thinking this is a racism thing,” he added.

Related: Three white men sentenced to life in prison for Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

According to the Washington Post, Gregory Case was driving the pickup truck and attempted to cut Gibson off as he was trying to leave. Gibson then swerved around the truck to get out of the neighborhood.

Gibson described the alleged attack in an interview with the Mississippi Free press. “I drive down about two or three houses,” Gibson said. “There’s another guy [Brandon Case] standing in the middle of the street pointing a gun at my windows and signaling me to stop with his hands, as well as mouthing the word, ‘Stop.’ I shake my head no, I hide behind the steering wheel, and I swerve around him as well. As I swerve around him, he starts firing shots into my vehicle.”

He added that when he called the police to report the shootings, a dispatcher interrupted him and asked if he had been on Junior Trail, the street where he was delivering the packages.

“I said, ‘Yes.’ He was like, ‘Well I just got a call of a suspicious person at this address,” Gibson recalled at Thursday’s press briefing. He replied to the dispatcher and said, “Sir, I’m not a suspicious person. I work for FedEx. I was just doing my job.”

The Cases were arrested on 1 February, over a week after the incident. According to court records reviewed by the Washington Post, Brandon Case, 35, was charged with feloniously attempting to cause bodily harm with a firearm and a deadly weapon. His 58-year-old father, Gregory Case, was charged with unlawfully and feloniously conspiring to commit aggravated assault. The father and son were released from jail the next day on bail.

Despite the charges, Gibson and his lawyers argue that the local police are not taking the case seriously and are calling for a federal hate crimes investigation.

“Some semblance of justice was served, but we’re disappointed since we think the charges should be attempted murder because that’s what it was,” said Carlos E Moore, one of Gibson’s lawyers.

Gibson said he was initially reluctant to speak out about the incident until he was reminded of Arbery’s murder – which also involved a white father and son - and similar incidents over the years in which Black people were killed while simply going about their lives.

“I thought about all the people who ain’t here to speak [for themselves],” Gibson told reporters. “I’m just looking at everything way different now … You can just die doing your job.”

The Cases and their attorneys have yet to comment publicly on the situation.

In a statement to the Associated Press, FedEx condemned the incident, saying, “FedEx takes situations of this nature very seriously, and we are shocked by this criminal act against our team member. ... The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we remain focused on his wellbeing. We will continue to support Mr Gibson as we cooperate with investigating authorities.” 



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