Monday Morning Thoughts – Delivering Packages While Black

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

It is an incident eerily similar to that of Ahmaud Arbery, except D’Monterrio Gibson lived to tell about it.  The 24-year-old FedEx driver was allegedly chased and shot at while delivering packages in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

The police allegedly told him that they had just received a call about a suspicious person at the same location and FedEx responded with complete indifference to the plight of their driver.

According to Carlos Moore, attorney for Gibson, the van he was driving was a Hertz rental van that had two large Hertz stickers on the back.  Gibson was wearing a FedEx jacket, shirt and pants but the vehicle had no FedEx markings.

Gibson initially believed he was in a truck’s way and attempted to leave, but at that point the truck swerved to cut him off.

“At that point my instincts kick in, and I swerve around him as he (is) trying to cut me off to avoid getting stuck in the neighborhood,” he said.

The people in the truck pointed the gun at his vehicle and told Gibson to stop – he said no and then hid behind his steering wheel as he swerved.

Gibson at this point heard at least five shots and the bullets hitting the van.

According to affidavits filed, Gregory Case was driving the truck chasing Gibson and Brandon Case pointed the gun at Gibson.  Just like in the Arbery case, it was father and son.  Both men have been arrested but are not facing attempted murder charges.

Moore said that Gibson did nothing wrong when the two men attempted to stop him.

“He was simply Black while working,” Moore said during a news conference.

“He’s blessed to be alive, I believe he had a guardian angel with him on that evening,” Moore said.  “Otherwise he would be dead.”

“Jogging while black, driving while black, working while black. At some point, there’s going to be a message to this nation that young black men don’t have to play the devil’s advocate. Young black men don’t have to worry about the fact that by virtue of the color of their skin, the texture of their hair, that they have to always be the ones that could have possibly scared a white person. On the heels of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, we could have had the same situation here,” said the Bryant, co-counsel in the case.

He continued, “What we’ve seen over the last several years is this emboldened white, this vigilante that believes that he can tell a black man to do whatever he wants. And if that black man doesn’t listen, we’re going to take it back to the fifties or the forties. We’re going to shoot him.”

Attorney Rodney Diggs was also concerned about FedEx’s conduct in this.

“What’s interesting is after Mr. Gibson made these complaints to a supervisor, multiple supervisors, that they didn’t show any concern,” Diggs alleged. “In fact, what they wanted Mr. Gibson to do was complete his route, complete his route after he just almost lost his life.”

He said, “You have bullet fragments in the truck and in the car, clearly someone that young that has dealt with this sort of shooting as it happened in the Ahmaud Arbery style is suffering from stress and for sure PTSD.”

Diggs warned, “Depending on how FedEx responds to this and if they try to retaliate against Mr. Gibson in any way, then he will have an employment discrimination claim as well against FedEx.”

Diggs said FedEx needs to make sure they take these sorts of complaints seriously.

“Go back to the road and finish your job,” Diggs said.  “That’s uncalled for. FedEx needs to do better.”

Moore added, “FedEx’s response has been less than optimal.”

He said, “The manager on the phone when he told her he was being shot at, she says, just try to get to the station as soon possible.  No, I’m going to call the police for you, I’m going to get you help.  Just get to your station, get to the FedEx office just as soon as possible.”

He said, “And then put him back on the same route the next day. He works it two days, it was too much on him. He couldn’t bear it. And then they sent him home, but get this, without pay. He’s at home without pay on unpaid leave. He could not handle the stress of going on that same route. FedEx should be ashamed. They have to do better.”

Moore said he believes that Gibson was targeted by the Cases, both White men, “because he is African-American. He was simply doing his job as a FedEx driver in full uniform when he was chased and assaulted by gunfire.”

Moore added, “We believe that they should have been arrested and the charges need to be upgraded from conspiracy and shooting into a vehicle to attempted murder. Because if the roles were reversed, and he’d done this to them, he would have been immediately arrested for attempted murder and gone to jail that same night. He wouldn’t have been allowed to wait a week to turn himself in.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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    1. Alan Miller

      Was the driver specifically attacked because he was black?

      While I’m rarely willing to make that leap to conclusion (because I believe it hurts the cause of rooting out racism when a particular incident backfires on the narrative), I give this one 96% odds.  Maybe not that he was ‘attacked because he was black’ so much as he likely wouldn’t have been attacked and would have been given the benefit of the doubt, rather than shot at, if he was white.

      I highly recommend watching this 30 minute video of the lawyers and victim at a press conference:

      Mississippi FedEx Driver on Shooting & Chasing Incident

      I found it riveting and the victim 100% believable.  And for once the lawyers weren’t in my opinion overstating their case – maybe because they didn’t need to for this one.

        1. Alan Miller

          Yeah that’s a detail I’ve been wondering about.  Since 911 calls are pubic record, we will know that.

          I can understand confronting someone coming to the porch from a Hertz truck, as some burglaries have been  committed that way (neighbors being fooled into thinking people are moving things).  What I don’t understand is unloading five rounds or more into the van — rather than getting the plate and letting police stop the van.  WTF!

      1. Alan Miller

        It will also be a fascinating case to watch unfold, and thankfully, this time, the victim, D’Monterrio Gibson, is alive and mostly well 🙂

        Maybe some future ‘father-son team’ will be discouraged by this case if they are well punished for this. Sad the last well-publicized incident wasn’t enough.

        1. Keith Olson

          One of the things I worry about is this notion of a “good guy with a gun” that seems to cloud people’s judgment

          Well these were obviously not good guys with a gun, so why the comparison?

          1. David Greenwald

            Isn’t that exactly the point? The good guy with the gun fails to take into account the lowest common denominator of vigilantism.

          1. David Greenwald

            Is there really a difference here? The boundary between good and bad becomes fuzzy at times. I worry about this type of situation where citizens attempt to take the law into their own hands and misjudge the situation or act out of bias. I don’t buy into the good/ bad guy rubric – these guys only became bad guys when they started firing shots at someone. We’ve created a culture where this is acceptable maybe even encouraged.

        2. Alan Miller

          I don’t buy into the good/ bad guy rubric – these guys only became bad guys when they started firing shots at someone.

          I don’t understand what you mean by this.  I don’t know the perps, but why do you think they ‘only became bad guys when they started firing shots’.  Maybe you have a different definition of  ‘bad’ person.  ‘Good’ people I know don’t start squeezing off shots when their life isn’t in danger.

          [Actually I do know someone who did.  He was in hyper-adrenaline mode, but he did think the guy was hiding in his teenage daughter’s closet and opened it to find a guy in there who then ran (he didn’t realized she’d snuck him in).  He squeezed off some shots just as he left the property (that was the mistake) and then was languishing in jail for some time before a judge said, ‘what are you even doing in here’.  My friend admitted he shouldn’t have fired the shots as he could have killed a neighbor.  He definitely was a good guy with a gun, but full of adrenaline with a gun.]

  1. Alan Miller

    Fed-X has reinstated his pay retroactively.  A good move, but I’m still underwhelmed by Fed-X’s response.  I imagine this is going to cost them many millions in lost revenue.  Whole neighborhoods may not check that choice box.  When I have the choice, UPS, USPS and Fed-X I can tell you that unless Fed-X does a complete 180 on this, that last box is not going to be checked for a long, long time — YEARS.

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