Activist Mulls FedEx Boycott for Treatment of Black Worker Chased and Fired On in Brookhaven

Mississippi Rising Coalition board member Morris Mock said that he was disappointed with the way FedEx handled the case involving its employee, 24-year-old D'Monterrio Gibson. Photo by Kayode Crown

For Mississippi Rising Coalition board member Morris Mock, boycotting FedEx in protest to show displeasure with the company’s treatment of D’Monterrio Gibson is on the table.

Gibson, a Black 24-year-old driver for FedEx, alleged that father and son duo Gregory Case and Brandon Case waylaid, chased and shot at him while he was delivering packages for FedEx on Jan. 24, 2022, in Brookhaven, a town of about 12,000 people in Lincoln County. FedEx first withheld Gibson’s pay after he declined to continue going on the same route after complaining about the alleged shooting. They reinstated his salary on Friday after a public outcry.

Mock was at the Feb.10 press conference that The Cochran Firm Mississippi Delta Managing Partner Carlos Moore held in Ridgeland, Miss., with Gibson, his family members and two other attorneys to reveal details of the alleged violent crime against Gibson.

A Brookhaven Municipal Court receptionist informed the Mississippi Free Press on Feb. 11 that attorney Dan Kitchen is representing Brandon Case, while attorney Terrell Stubbs is representing Gregory Case in the case.The attorneys did not return calls or emails to their offices on Monday, Feb. 14, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, before press time.

“I’m disappointed in how FedEx handled it,” Mock told the Mississippi Free Press after the press conference in Ridgeland on Friday. “I feel that—to be honest with you—I don’t want to deal with FedEx or shop with FedEx anymore.”

From left: Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party President for Holmes County Cordell Wright and social worker Reginald Virgil said they attended the press conference that The Cochran Firm held in Ridgeland to give information about the case involving their client D’Monterrio Gibson. Photo by Kayode Crown

“I feel that there should be a boycott of FedEx until there’s justice for this young man,” he added. “I just feel like times haven’t changed; this is the same stuff going on that has been going on for years.”

“I’m just glad that he is (able) to live to tell the tale.”

FedEx: ‘Shocked By This Criminal Act’

In a statement CNN reported on Thursday, FedEx said the company “takes situations of this nature very seriously” and that the company was “shocked by this criminal act against our team member, D’Monterrio Gibson.”

“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,” FedEx said.

At the Thursday press conference, Gibson said his greatest disappointment in the whole ordeal was concerning FedEx’s initial response and support, or lack thereof, sharing that he did not receive any official contact from the company between the Jan. 24 alleged incident and the media event.

“I would say (the most disheartening thing was) the way FedEx handled it, simply because I feel like they are a powerful company; they should be able to back me up,” he said. “I just wanted them to support me in this, and they haven’t done it.”

Moore’s co-counsel in the case and another Cochran Firm attorney, James Bryant, joined Gibson in expressing displeasure with FedEx.

D’Monterrio Gibson’s grandmother Jackie Kelker  said having her grandson almost killed was a difficult experience.  Photo by Kayode Crown

“You would think that FedEx, as powerful as they are, would have sent a very bold statement supporting this young man,” Bryant said. “Because, remember this young man almost died in the line of duty, and while he was delivering packages for this company.”

“And at a minimum, they should have issued something powerful saying that ‘We support Mr. Gibson 100%, and we will do everything in our power to make sure justice is served,'” he added. “But as you’ve heard, there’s been no official word for over a week. And that, honestly, is just sad.”

By Friday, FedEx had issued its statement: “The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we remain focused on his well-being. We will continue to support Mr. Gibson as we cooperate with investigating authorities.”

To Gibson’s grandmother, Jackie Kelker, having her grandson allegedly almost killed was a difficult experience. “I’m really disappointed that someone would probably take my grandson’s life,” she told the Mississippi Free Press on Thursday. “I just want justice for him.”

Gibson’s aunt, Kimberly McClendon, expressed her support for seeking judicial relief for her nephew. “I don’t think that was right because one person (was) doing their job and somebody (was) blocking them trying to harm him,” she told the Mississippi Free Press. “I’m glad that they are fighting for justice.”

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party President Cordell Wright of Holmes County and social worker Reginald Virgil said they showed up at the press conference in solidarity with Gibson.

D'Monterrio Gibson in a denim jacket standing outside of a brick building
Many are comparing the Jan. 24, 2020, alleged chase and shooting that D’Monterrio Gibson reported facing at the hands of two white men in Brookhaven, Miss., with the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 15, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga., by a white father-and-son duo and a neighbor.  Photo by Kayode Crown

“So the reason why I’m here is because too often we see these issues occur, but no justice is served,” Wright told the Mississippi Free Press on Thursday. “And so we’re here to stand in solidarity with D’Monterrio Gibson to bring awareness to it and to fight the case until the Cases are convicted of these charges.”

“It’s similar to the Ahmaud Arbery’s case, and we just don’t want for them to walk away free, or to feel like that they can get away with it or do some kind of crime or take the law into their own hands and get away with it,” Wright added. “We won’t allow it.”

On Feb. 23, 2020, three white men chased, shot and killed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging in Brunswick, Ga. Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan received life sentences on Jan. 7, 2022.

Virgil said that it was an unfortunate event for Gibson to be at the other side of bullets fired at him while doing his job.

“D’Monterrio is still here to tell his story of what happened, to share the traumatizing event that he went through,” Virgil said. “And typically for Black people, that’s uncommon in our country, but God has blessed him to be here with us, and all of the support that is here for D’Monterrio is going to support for justice to make sure these men are put behind bars for trying to kill him.”

Mississippi Rising Coalition board member Mock said he is disappointed that the Cases are free, having been released on only $75,000 and $150,000 bail when they turned themselves in about one week after the alleged shooting.

“I’m proud to see the young man standing up for himself,” Mock said. “(But) justice is definitely not served.”

“These people are still out; they should still be in jail incarcerated; I don’t think that should have been a bail,” he added. “I think that they should stay in there; I mean, you’re talking about five shots.”

Attorney Moore on Thursday said that Gregory Case was only with conspiracy and Brandon Case with shooting into an occupied vehicle and has asked Lincoln County District Attorney Dee Bates to upgrade it to attempted murder.

“They intended to kill this man. And I think the evidence will show that,” Moore said.

 

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