With the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement, the national spotlight on systemic racism, and all the high-profile cases that have fueled the fight, we all want to believe that change is coming in America, but that would require white America to actually learn from past crimes of racial injustice—but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
It’s why Amir Locke was shot dead by police in the same city George Floyd was murdered and in a similar fashion to how Breonna Taylor was killed. And it’s why the media explosion over Ahmaud Arbery‘s lynching and the subsequent convictions and sentencing of Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan didn’t stop another white father and son duo from allegedly chasing and shooting at a Black FedEx driver in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
According to NBC News, 24-year-old D’Monterrio Gibson said he was making deliveries in Brookhaven on Jan. 24, while wearing his FedEx uniform when a white man in a pickup truck began following him and honking his horn. Gibson, who was in a Hertz rental van rather than a FedEx truck for whatever reason, continued to drive until he encountered another white man standing in the street, pointing a gun at him and demanding he stop.
Now, already you can imagine the litany of justifications pulled straight from the Book of Caucasian Obliviousness, which will include, “Why didn’t he just stop like he was told to?” and “How were they supposed to know what he was doing if he wasn’t in a FedEx van?”
Well, first, the white men also weren’t in police uniforms, because they weren’t police, so why should he stop? Second, if, at this point, it even needs to be explained why a Black man wouldn’t stop for a random white man with a gun, well, now we’re back to the part where white America just doesn’t learn.
Anyway, Gibson said he kept driving and that’s when the armed white man started to fire shots into his vehicle.
“Gibson said he believes the men pursued him because he is Black and because they thought he didn’t belong in their neighborhood,” and “he’s asking the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to take the case from local police and for the men to face federal hate crime charges,” NBC reported.
Gibson said the pickup truck continued to chase after him but he eventually got away and called 911—but the dispatcher wasn’t much help. He said the dispatcher interrupted him and asked whether he had been on Junior Trail, the street where the incident reportedly took place.
“I said, ‘Yes,’” Gibson said. “He was like, ‘Well, I just got a call of a suspicious person at this address.’”
Gibson said he then tried to explain to the dispatcher that he wasn’t doing anything wrong and that he had just been shot at, but the dispatcher responded saying he hadn’t heard anything about any shooting and suggested that he go to the police department the next day to file a report.
So a 911 emergency dispatcher hears that shots were fired at someone, and he doesn’t immediately send police to investigate, but instead suggests the person who was shot at file a police report the next day? What the hell?
Gibson went to the department with his boss the next day and his story was corroborated by the police report, NBC reported. Gibson’s boss told police that the van had at least two bullet holes in the back door and bumper and that three packages inside the van had bullet holes in them as well.
According to Gibson’s attorney, Carlos Moore, the suspects in the incident, 35-year-old Brandon Case and his father, 58-year-old Gregory Case (seriously though, the father’s name is even Gregory), turned themselves in on Feb. 1, a week after the shooting took place. Gregory was arrested on investigation of conspiracy and Brandon was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault. Both men were booked into the Lincoln County Jail and posted bail the next day. Gregory’s bond was $75,000 and Brandon’s was $150,000.
“We are not satisfied with the charges at all,” Moore said. “We believe they should be upgraded to attempted murder.”
“Had the roles been reversed and Mr. Gibson had been accused of shooting at them, he would’ve been arrested that same night, charged with attempted murder and put in jail and not allowed to bond out so easily,” Moore continued. “We just want to have a fair criminal justice system in Mississippi, and we want them fully prosecuted. Not only on the state level for the attempted murder but also we want the feds to come in and look at prosecuting them for hate crimes similar to what was done in the Ahmaud Arbery case.”
Moore also called the suspects “a copycat father-son duo.”
Meanwhile, Gibson says he’s fortunate to still be alive to tell his story.
“Some of the packages that got hit were, like, actually right behind me,” he said. “By the grace of God, I actually survived that shooting.”
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