Brookhaven, MS: Two white men charged with shooting at black FedEx driver. Various groups try to organize U.S. “Freedom Convoy”. U.S. stokes fears Russia could invade Ukraine this week.
Brookhaven, MS: Two white men arrested for shooting at black FedEx driver
On January 24, FedEx driver D’Monterrio Gibson, 24, was making a delivery in Brookhaven in Lincoln County, MS. At about 7pm, Gibson, who is black, dropped off a package on Junior Trail. He was wearing his FedEx uniform, but was driving a rented Hertz van. After making his drop-off, Gibson says that that a man in a white pick-up tried to cut him off to prevent him from leaving. Gibson swerved to get away with him, but the pick-up pursued him while honking his horn.
Gibson says he drove on, only to encounter a man standing in the middle of the road pointing a gun at him, and mouthing the word “Stop”. After swerving to avoid the man, Gibson says the man fired several rounds into the rear of his vehicle.
In a panic, Gibson phoned his supervisor, who told him to return to the FedEx station. The pickup tailed Gibson’s van all the way to an interstate. After eluding the pick-up, Gibson phoned police to inform them of the incident. When the dispatcher interrupted to ask him whether he had been on Junior Trail, Gibson said that he had. “He was like, ‘Well, I just got a call of a suspicious person at this address,'” Gibson said.
Gibson informed the dispatcher he was not a “suspicious person,” that he had just been shot at while doing his job. The dispatcher said the original caller had made no mention of this.
Upon Gibson’s arrival at the FedEx station, his supervisor inspected the van. She found multiple bullet holes in the back of the van, and some of the packages inside had bullet holes in them.
Gregory Case, 58, and Brandon Case, 35, a white father and son, were charged in the shooting. Police allowed them to wait almost a week before turning themselves in, which they eventually did on February 1. The Cases posted bail the next day and were allowed to go free.
Gibson and his attorneys are unhappy with this kid glove treatment, and with the underwhelming charges in the case. Gregory Case was charged with conspiracy and Brandon with aggravated assault. Through his attorneys, Gibson called for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to takeover the case from local police. The attorneys also want the Cases charged with attempted murder and investigated for possible hate crimes charges. Gibson’s attorney Carlos Moore contends that the Cases’ assault on Gibson was racially-motivated. Moore also pointed to parallels between the Brookhaven incident and the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia.
Various groups try to organize U.S. “Freedom Convoy”
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security warned of “aspirational” plans by some groups to convene a “Freedom Convoy”-style protest on Super Bowl Sunday in Inglewood, CA. While those plans failed to materialize, the “aspiration” is continuing to take shape. Through social media and online conference calls, several groups are attempting to organize similar big rig protests in the U.S.
At present, there doesn’t seem to be much coordination or cooperation among the groups, despite considerable overlap in their respective goals and ideologies. Broadly speaking, their grievances include vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers, rising inflation, and the erroneous belief that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
Most of the groups have outlined itineraries starting in different parts of the country, converging on Washington D.C. in early to mid-March. White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, says the Department of Homeland Security is “taking all necessary steps to ensure that the convoy does not disrupt lawful trade and transportation or interfere with federal government and law enforcement operations”.
In Canada, police have dispersed truckers who blocked the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Ontario for over a week. The standoff in Ottawa continues.
U.S. stokes fears Russia could invade Ukraine this week
At a press conference last Friday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated the belief that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent. “[The invasion] could be more limited. It could be more expansive,” Sullivan said. “But there are very real possibilities that it will involve the seizure of a significant amount of territory in Ukraine and the seizure of major cities, including the capital city.”
Sullivan also urged any Americans still in Ukraine to leave within the next 24 to 48 hours. He warned, “If you stay, you are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave there – no prospect of a U.S. military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion”.
Several other countries have joined the U.S. in urging their citizens to leave Ukraine. The State Department is now proceeding with an evacuation of its embassy in Kyev.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to dismiss Western alarmism and urge calm. Zelensky says he has yet to see convincing evidence of U.S. claims that an incursion is imminent. Ukraine’s foreign minister has also sought immediate talks with his counterparts in Russia and other European nations.
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