Five suspects have been arrested in relation to the much-publicized brawl last week at the Montgomery Riverwalk.
What should have been a standard docking procedure for the Harriott II riverboat turned into a national event when a group from Selma parked their pontoon boat in the Harriott II's regular dock.
According to witness accounts, Harriott II co-captain Damien Pickett attempted to move the boat when a verbal altercation began. The verbal altercation went physical quickly, and multiple individuals swarmed Pickett.
After the initial fight, a second melee broke out between multiple individuals and the pontoon operators once the Harriott II docked.
Videos of the brawl soon flooded social media, grabbing national headlines.
Thus far, Mary Todd, 21, Allen Todd, 23, Zachery Shipman, 25, and Richard Roberts, 48, have all been arrested and face multiple charges of assault.
On Friday, Reggie Ray, 42, turned himself in to police and faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Ray went viral for the scene of him striking a downed woman with a folding chair.
Although Montgomery Police chief Darryl Albert said there was no evidence of a racial element to the fight, that has not stopped rampant speculation. In a statement, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said that, while there was no legal evidence of a hate crime, he thought it did "meet the moral definition of a crime fueled by hate."
"This is a fluid investigation," Reed said. "At this point, the FBI has not classified these attacks as a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing. As a former judge and as an elected official, I will trust this process and the integrity of our justice system. However, my perspective as a Black man in Montgomery differs from my perspective as mayor. From what we've seen from the history of our city — a place tied to both the pain and the progress of this nation – it seems to meet the moral definition of a crime fueled by hate, and this kind of violence cannot go unchecked. It is a threat to the durability of our democracy, and we are grateful to our law enforcement professionals, partner organizations and the greater community for helping us ensure justice will prevail."
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