By: Kerry Ding
The brawl occurred in Montgomery’s Riverfront Park on August 5th, 2023. On this day a pontoon boat was parked in the spaced reserved for the Harriott II. When the ship eventually returned, the ship’s captain told the people in the smaller boat to move so the Harriott II could park in its designated area. The captain of the Harriott II asked the boater for nearly an hour only to be responded to with curses, gestures, and racial slurs.
Dameion Pickett, the co-captain, was sent on a small boat to negotiate with the white boaters. When the negotiation didn’t work, Mr. Pickett attempted to move the pontoon boat himself, causing the boaters to confront and attack him. Multiple witnesses say that the man was beaten, hit, punched, and attempted to be put in a chokehold. This aggravated the crew and some bystanders who came in to defend the co-captain. This is where Reggie Ray came in and reportedly hit two people with a foldable chair. This inevitably was recorded and went viral on the internet.
Reggie Ray, the man arrested, was accused of using a chair to attack a man and a woman in the brawl. The 42 year old was charged with disorderly conduct, said Captain Jarrett Williams. He is the fifth person to be arrested in the fight. Previously, three men in a video that went viral on the internet turned themselves in, and a woman who participated in the brawl also turned herself in. They had already been identified by the police and felt it would be better if they turned themselves in.
The videos also caught four other brawlers assaulting others. They are Allen Todd, 23; Zachery Shipman, 25; Richard Roberts, 48; and Mary Todd, 21. “Mr. Todd and Mr. Shipman were each charged with one count of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. Mr. Roberts was charged with two counts of third-degree assault, and Ms. Todd was charged with third-degree assault.” said the New York Times. The brawl is still being investigated, and more people might be charged. The fight seemed to be divided by racial lines. What could this mean for the city of Montgomery, a city that already has a lot of history with racial inequality?