Updated with video: Supporters rally for young man who survived shooting
Published 10:02 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022
Supporters of D’Monterrio Gibson gathered Sunday afternoon at a “Stand Up Black America” town hall meeting at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Brookhaven.
Gibson had been pursued and shot at in January in Brookhaven while performing his job as a delivery driver for FedEx. Father and son Gregory and Brandon Case, who are white, were charged with conspiracy and aggravated assault/shooting into an occupied motor vehicle while pursuing Gibson, who is black.
The Rev. Larry Jointer spoke to congregation, supporters and a live-stream audience in the 900-seat main area of the church, saying “we are here to focus on D’Monterrio and what happened to him.
“This church has been a part of many marches in the past. We’ve had a lot of great pastors here working for justice,” Jointer said. “Put yourself in [Gibson’s] mother’s place. While her son was doing exactly what he was taught to [about working hard and taking care of himself], two men disrupted his whole life. [Law enforcement officials] in their incompetence, waited seven days. These men ended up turning themselves in.
“I can’t put all police in one bag and say all are no good. I can’t say [that] about teachers,…doctors, nurses, lawyers, preachers. In every bunch there is some that are not right. Just no good.”
Bob Smith, who is from Brookhaven, then spoke about his own fight for justice through the years, recalling how he was pistol whipped and jailed. “What happened to Mr. Gibson is a tragedy,” he said. “Maybe it happened here to bring us together to bring about change.”
Jointer added that “all of us are equal under the law, but we don’t get the same justice. [Gibson’s] clarity is that he is sure of what happened to him. But when it comes to justice, standards change [depending on who you are]. We want D’Monterrio to get equal justice under the law. He was doing his job and we are asking the police to do their jobs.
“We are not here to break up Brookhaven. We have other work to do [as well]: We have to take care of each other better. It’s time to stand up and be men and women of the truth and willing to make a change.”
Gibson himself spoke briefly about what had happened to him, explaining how he was delivering packages for FedEx when two men attacked him. He said he felt as though after the police were called, they didn’t seem as interested in his story as he hoped, though he said the third officer appeared to actually write up a report in Gibson’s exact words.
“I’m going to keep standing,” he said quietly. “With your help, I’ll keep standing, but either way, I’m going to keep standing. I still have issues [with what happened], but I appreciate all the support the community has given me.” The audience gave him a standing ovation.
Carlos Moore of The Cochran Firm is Gibson’s attorney. He told the audience that police “didn’t have the decency to arrest [the perpetrators] and then they had already bonded out. If D’Monterrio had been the shooter, he would have been arrested immediately and had a $500,000 to $1 million bond.”
Moore said “we are already owed reparations, but now, I say to those who attack us while doing a job ‘while black’ – shame on you. To have hate in your heart like that.”
He then described unnamed people “clowns,” saying to one [you] “dared to call yourself a black man?” The audience clapped and laughed at the comment.
Moore also posted on his Facebook page that he will lead another group Monday. “We will … occupy Brookhaven including City Hall and Junior Trail starting on February 28th. We will lead protests not only in Brookhaven but we plan to coordinate them around the state, country and world until Gregory Case and Brandon Case are either arrested for attempted murder or federal hate crimes.