Attorneys for a Black delivery driver are calling for a federal hate crimes probe of the attempted shooting of the driver in Mississippi, saying it’s another example of Black Americans facing danger simply for going about their daily activities, reports CBS News.
The FedEx driver, 24-year-old Demonterrio Gibson, was not wounded in the Jan. 24 incident. One of his attorneys, Carlos Moore, said Thursday that he believes police are not taking the investigation seriously. Two White men are facing charges, but Moore said the state needs to upgrade those charges to attempted murder.
Moore said Gibson had done nothing wrong before two White men tried to stop him, with one of the men holding a gun.
“He was simply Black while working,” Moore said during a news conference. A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday that the department received a request to look into the case and will review the request to determine any next steps.
Gibson said he was wearing a FedEx uniform and was driving an unmarked van that FedEx had rented when he dropped off a package at a house in south Mississippi. He said as he was leaving, he noticed a white pickup truck pulling away from another house on the same large lot. He said the pickup driver tried to cut him off as he left the driveway. Gibson swerved around him and then encountered a second man who had a gun pointed at the van and was motioning for him to stop. Gibson said the man fired as he drove away, damaging the van and packages inside. He said the white pickup chased him to the interstate highway near Brookhaven before ending the pursuit.
Two White men from Brookhaven, 58-year-old Gregory Charles Case and his son 35-year-old Brandon Case, were arrested and released on Feb. 1. Police told local news outlets that the elder Case was the suspected pickup driver, while Brandon Case was the man in the street. Gregory Charles Case is charged with conspiracy. Brandon Case is charged with aggravated assault.