Lawyer demands attempted murder charges for white men accused of chasing, shooting at Black FedEx driver in Mississippi
"We believe it was racially motivated," attorney Carlos Moore said.
An attorney representing a Black FedEx driver wants prosecutors to file hate crime and attempted murder charges against the white father and son accused of chasing and shooting at his client late last month.
The case bears some similarities to the vigilante murder of Ahmaud Arbery two years ago.
Gregory Case, 58, and his son, Brandon Case, 35, were arrested and released on bond on Feb. 1 for their alleged roles in the violent confrontation, according to The Daily Leader.
Gregory Case was charged with conspiracy, and his son was charged with shooting into a motor vehicle, according to to the Associated Press.
“I want both of them charged with attempted murder,” attorney Carlos Moore of The Cochran Firm told the AP on Friday.
Moore’s client, FedEx driver Demonterrio Gibson, 24, told the AP that he was dropping off a package some time after 7 p.m. on Jan. 24 at a home on Junior Trail NE in Brookhaven, Mississippi, that belongs to one of the Cases.
He told WLBT that the Cases may be related to the town’s assistant police chief, who has the same last name.
Gibson was wearing a FedEx uniform when the incident occurred, but he was driving an unmarked Hertz delivery van rented by his employer, according to the AP and WLBT. The van didn’t have any FedEx logos on it, multiple sources said.
Brookhaven NAACP President Rico Cain told The Daily Leader on Friday that Gibson was actually picking up that package after dropping it off at the wrong address.
As Gibson was leaving the driveway, someone driving a white pickup truck tried to block his path. Police told local reporters that the pickup truck driver was Gregory Case, according to multiple sources.
Gibson maneuvered his van around the truck, but he was confronted by another white man in the road who was armed with a handgun, according to The Daily Leader. Authorities said the armed man was Gregory’s son, Brandon Case, the AP reported.
“I drive down about two or three houses and there’s another guy standing in the middle of the street, with a gun pointed at my vehicle,” Gibson told the AP.
Gibson said the armed man motioned for him to stop.
“I’m looking at him, like shaking my head, because why would I stop for somebody with a gun?” Gibson added.
Gibson said the armed suspect shot at his van as he tried to drive away, damaging the vehicle and the packages inside, according to the AP. He said the white pickup truck followed him to an interstate highway near Brookhaven before giving up the chase.
Brookhaven is a small Mississippi town located about 55 miles south of Jackson. The town’s estimated 11,600 residents were about 61% Black and roughly 38% white in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Moore told WLBT on Friday that the Cases had no legal justification to attack his client.
“This man had done nothing wrong,” Moore said in reference to Gibson. “We believe it was racially motivated.”
Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins, who is Black, told The Daily Leader on Feb. 1 his town is not racist.
“We’re not going to have outsiders coming in trying to stir that up,” he told the newspaper. “You can’t judge a town by the actions of two individuals.”
But Cain, the town’s NAACP president, said that racist incidents in Brookhaven happen “over and over again.”
“Some of those problems have been involving the Brookhaven Police Department,” he said.
The local NAACP and Gibson’s family have called for Collins, his assistant chief and the town’s mayor, Joe Cox, to resign over the incident.
“I’m not going anywhere until God makes that decision,” Collins told The Daily Leader on Monday.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the surnames of the suspects. This story has been edited to correct the error.
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