Videos showing a group of white men attacking a Black dock worker in Alabama have gone viral on social media.
The incident took place after a pontoon boat blocked an area where a riverboat was parking near Montgomery Riverfront Park on Saturday evening, WFSA’s Jasmine Williams reported.
Officers responded to the 200 block of Coosa Street about a disturbance at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, a Montgomery Police Department spokesperson told Newsweek.
“At the scene, they located a large group of subjects engaged in a physical altercation. Several subjects have been detained and any charges are pending,” the spokesperson said.
The police department “acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job,” Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed said in a statement shared on X, formerly Twitter. “Warrants have been signed and justice will be served.”
Reed added: “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 violent actions will be held accountable by our criminal justice system.”
What Do the Videos of the Brawl Show?
Videos shared on social media show the events that led up to the brawl, which unfolded along racial lines.
In one video posted on X, which has garnered more than 3 million views, a woman on a riverboat can be heard talking about the dispute around parking space at the dock.
The Black man, reportedly a dock worker, is seen near a pontoon boat parked at the dock.
“That guy in the white shirt is… he got off our ship to go over there to move that black pontoon boat on his own because those guys who parked there were told not to leave it there and they left it there, so he’s just pushing it off,” the woman filming is heard saying.
Moments later, the Black man is approached by a shirtless white man in gray shorts.
The pair are seen talking for some time, while another white man stands nearby. Another white man—shirtless and in red shorts—is seen running towards them.
The Black man appears to continue trying to explain the situation, and a white woman is seen joining them. The Black man and one of the shirtless men can be seen gesturing as they talk.
The crowd of people on the riverboat can be heard chanting “move b****, get out the way” as the two shirtless white men talk near the boat.
The exchange between the Black man and the white men appears to become heated, with the former seen repeatedly gesturing with his hands.
The Black man is seen pacing, then continues to talk to one of the white men while pointing towards the boat.
Another man is seen approaching the Black man to talk. While they are talking, the man in gray shorts lunges forwards and appears to strike the Black man in the face.
The pair are seen scuffling for a few seconds before a white man and white woman appear to try to break it up.
But seconds later, two other shirtless white men—including the one in red shorts—are seen joining in the fight.
Two more shirtless white men then join in, helping tackle the Black man to the ground and striking him. They are then joined by another shirtless white man, who also piles on.
As the fight goes on, one of the shirtless white men is seen striking another white man who appeared to be trying to stop the brawl.
Two white women can be seen, and one in a red dress appears to be trying to get one of the white men away from the brawl.
Within seconds, fighting breaks out between the group of Black people and the two white men and one white woman who were on the boat, as well as another white man and white woman on the dock.
A number of officers can be seen arriving and trying to break up the brawl, which continued for a while longer before petering out. Officers are then seen handcuffing those involved.
Who Are the People Involved in the Brawl?
The identities of the people involved in the brawl have not been released by authorities.
The person who swam to the dock worker’s aid has been identified as a 16-year-old called Aaren.
“In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years,” said Makina Lashea, who identified herself as the boy’s publicist.
“We are immensely proud of his actions and the values he exemplifies, standing as an inspiration to us all.”
Has Anyone Been Arrested or Charged?
Police said four active warrants have been issued in connection with the incident.
“There’s a possibility more will follow after the review of additional video,” a police spokesperson said.