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Here's How The Brawl In Montgomery, Alabama Began

The Black version of the Boston Tea Party erupted in Montgomery, Alabama over the weekend.


Multiple people were detained by the Montgomery Police on Saturday evening after a beatdown for the ages broke out on the city’s Riverfront dock following what looked to be a group of white boaters attacking a Black dock worker, apparently without provocation, according to a viral video that has surfaced absolutely everywhere, resulting in folks posting limitless jokes and memes on all platforms in the aftermath.

According to the Alabama Political Reporter, the fight escalated when city workers and others joined in the brawl a short time after and fought with the boaters. It looked as if the Black man, who was being surrounded, threw up his hat and began to fight, which got involved to save the man, including a 16-year-old who swam a distance to aid.

“Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement released on social media on Sunday. “Warrants have been signed and justice will be served. This was an unfortunate incident which never should have occurred. As our police department investigates these intolerable actions, we should not become desensitized to violence of any kind in our community. Those who choose violence will be held accountable by our criminal justice system.”

The MPD has not released the names of those arrested. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a city official said police officials late Sunday afternoon were still sifting through video and witness statements and assessing charges.

Chase Shipman, one of the boaters and the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart in Selma, posted on Facebook admitting to getting involved in the melee. Shipman claimed he didn’t take part in the fight, wanting to stop the fight, but video of the incident reveals him punching the dock worker repeatedly while he was on the ground. When late Sunday afternoon rolled around, Vasser’s Mini Mart removed its online brand, listing its location as permanently closed on Google.

That one happening in a plethora of circumstances in the footage made the video one of the most talked about topics on all social media platforms across the country.

How did this all begin?

It all started in the late afternoon on Saturday when Harriot II -- Montgomery’s city-owned riverboard that takes passengers on short cruises up and down the Alabama River -- attempts to dock from its afternoon run. Based on a video taken from aboard the Harriott and posted to Facebook, the riverboat idled in the middle of the river for minutes all because a group of pontoon boats were parked in the dock space typically reserved for the Harriott.

An employee with the Harriott is seen on a separate video speaking with a group of white people on the dock close to the pontoons before a conversation between the boaters, all white, and the Harriott worker, a Black man, increasingly becomes more animated. Just a little bit later, the worker and another city employee can be seen untying and moving one of the pontoons several feet down the dock in an effort to make room for the Harriott.

But the boaters returned, and the conversation turned into an argument before one of the boaters hit the Harriott worker.

This is when all hell breaks loose.

Several other boaters, all white, jumped into the fray and began to beat the worker while on the ground. Aforementioned before, a 16-year Black boy can be seen jumping into the water, swimming to the action as bystanders cheer on his perceived heroics.

Moments later, friends of the worker, all Black, jump in the craziness and start haymaking, kicking and even using a chair to beat down any perceived opposing threat.

It appears Montgomery police arrested the guy with the swinging chair. In the end, the police arrested folks on both sides, leading them away in handcuffs.


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