The young Black FedEx worker, who was violently harassed by two white men while delivering packages in a suburb in Mississippi, has hired a lawyer after his supervisors refused to change his route and asked him to complete his deliveries after the altercation.
As a result of him refusing to work the same route where he was assaulted, he has not been scheduled to work in weeks. The 24-year-old also asserts that he is traumatized by everything that has happened to him.
Rodney Diggs, D’Monterrio Gibson’s attorney, said his client immediately expressed to his managers his trepidation about going back out to finish his daily deliveries. However, his supervisors “didn’t show any concern.”
The attorney said he wanted to “give a warning to FedEx” for how they treated his client.
“What they wanted Mr. Gibson to do was complete his route— after he just almost lost his life,” Diggs said in a video posted on Twitter by NowThis. “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,” he stated as he blasted the company for not considering the ordeal before asking him to stay on duty.
“You shouldn’t require a young, Black male who just experienced racism at its highest height in 2022 to continue to do work.”
There are surface comparisons to the Arbery case that many have made in Gibson’s case.
Like the Georgia shooting, Gibson was harassed by a white father-and-son duo who wrongly believed the victim was up to some nefarious act. Both men have entered “not guilty” pleas in the Jan. 24. incident, according to Brookhaven Municipal Court.
That is where the comparison ends.
Arbery was murdered in Satilla Shores, a small predominately white neighborhood of about 421 people near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia. Sixty-eight percent of the 12,000 residents in Brookhaven, Mississippi, suburb where Gibson was assaulted, are Black, the Clarion-Ledger reports.
Also, Gibson was on the job.
As a uniformed delivery driver for the parcel company, he was assigned the route in the Brookhaven suburb and dropped packages off around 7 p.m.
On Sunday, Feb. 13, Gibson told “Good Morning America” he was unsure of the addresses in the community and had trouble matching the packages with the appropriate homes.
Once he left a package at the Cases’ home, the father got into his pickup truck and attempted to prevent Gibson from leaving the neighborhood.
After he was able to get away from the elder, the son stood in the middle of the street and fired his gun at the van, hitting it several times.
Gibson called his manager Candice Welch and reported the incident. In an earlier interview with a different outlet, Gibson said Welch expressed concern about his well-being and told him to “head back to the station.” As he attempted to leave, the pickup truck tried to corner him. Gibson managed to escape without injury.
He called the office again and spoke to a different manager. This supervisor told him the office would file a police report in the morning, However, Gibson did not wait. He called 911 and reported the assault himself.
“I reached dispatch and let him know what was going on, and I only had a chance to get a little of the story out when he cut me off and he was like, ‘Were you at this address?’ I said ‘yes,’ ” Gibson said.
The dispatch responded, stating they had received a call from the address he gave reporting “a suspicious person.”
Gibson says he responded, “Sir, I’m not a suspicious person, I work for FedEx. I was just doing my job.”
When further telling his side of the incident, he noted that one of the men shot at him. The dispatcher allegedly responded, “Well, they didn’t tell me that.”
The next day, Welch went with Gibson to a Brookhaven police station to file a police report. Six days later the father and son turned themselves in.
Brandon Case, 35, “has been charged with purposely, knowingly and feloniously attempting to cause bodily injury to Gibson when he shot at his delivery van.”
Gregory Case, 57, has been “charged with purposely, knowingly and feloniously conspiring with his son to commit aggravated assault after allegedly chasing Gibson with his pickup truck and trying to block him from driving away.”
The Cases were released on $75,000 bond and $150,000 bond, respectively, a day later.
Gibson’s legal team is calling for a federal hate crimes probe of the incident, as well as drawing attention to the supervisors’ lack of compassion for their worker.
Only seven months on the job, Gibson said the incident has left him traumatized. Despite his anxiety, the branch allegedly has not been sensitive to the impact the event had on him. So much so, FedEx has not changed his delivery route, though the company did offer to pay for his therapy.
As a result, Gibson has not returned to work and is currently on unpaid time off. After the incident became public, according to Gibson, FedEx offered him paid leave. His lawyers argue that this is a double offense to their client.
FedEx’s senior communications specialist Joseph Miner says that as a corporation, they are standing with Gibson during this time, as well as cooperating with law enforcement, saying that as a company they “take situations of this nature very seriously, and we are 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 well-being.”
Gibson is considering lawsuits against FedEx and other parties in connection to the incident.
More news from our partners: