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Arrest warrants issued for Alabama riverfront brawl

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Police said Monday that arrest warrants have been issued in connection with a riverfront brawl in Alabama’s capital that drew nationwide attention after video showed a group of white people pummeling a Black riverboat worker, an exchange that sparked a massive fight.

Major Saba Coleman of the Montgomery Police Department said there are currently four active warrants and more could be issued after authorities review more footage. Police said Sunday that several people were detained and charges are pending.

Video circulating on social media showed a large melee Saturday that appeared to begin when a crew member of a city-operated riverboat tried to get a pontoon boat moved that was blocking the riverboat from docking.

A white man shoved and punched the Black crew member, according to the video taken by a riverboat passenger and published by WSFA. The conflict escalated when several white people joined in on attacking the Black crew member. A separate video shows that several Black passengers then confronted the pontoon boat group after the riverboat docked, sparking another brawl that was largely split along racial lines.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said police will hold a briefing Tuesday to provide an update on the situation.

“While there is a lot of activity and interest in this, we know that we’ll come through this together as a community collectively as we have other situations,” Reed told news outlets on Monday, according to al.com. Reed said no one has been arrested yet.

Reed said in a statement Sunday that Montgomery police acted “swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job.”

“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,” Reed said.

The fight took place along Montgomery’s downtown riverfront which the city has worked to developed into a tourist and recreation area with restaurants, bars and hotels.

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